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Congressional Democrats prod Treasury secretary to promote MyRA program

A group of leading congressional Democrats asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday to do more to promote the federal MyRA retirement savings program.

A letter signed by Sens. Patty Murray of Washington, ranking member of the Senate HELP Committee; Ron Wyden, of Oregon, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee; and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging; and Reps. Bobby Scott of Virginia, ranking member of the Education and the Workforce Committee; and Richard Neal of Massachusetts, ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, called on the Treasury Department "to demonstrate its commitment to the MyRA program."

In January, the department announced it was collaborating with tax preparation software companies to encourage filers to use MyRA accounts, following what MyRA Executive Director Richard Ludlow said was strong interest during the 2016 tax filing season. Treasury officials also said they would promote the program more on government websites.

"We urge you to execute these plans swiftly and demonstrate that this administration is committed to helping hardworking families save for retirement," the members of Congress wrote.

The letter was also prompted by the reversal of safe harbors for states and other political subdivisions creating their own private-sector retirement savings programs, through legislation signed by President Donald Trump in April and May.

"Given that this administration has worked to reduce access to retirement plans for millions of Americans, it is more critical than ever for the Treasury to strengthen one of their remaining options for retirement savings," the Democrats wrote.

A call to the Treasury Department was not returned at press time.