As part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s effort to promote the myRA starter retirement account, we used the Refund to Savings Initiative’s Household Financial Survey to assess low- to moderate-income tax filers’ retirement needs, attitudes towards retirement, and interest in a myRA-type account. We also tested different messaging approaches for promoting myRA. The report found that 32% of survey respondents did not own a retirement account and that lack of money and lack of access to an employer-based account were major impediments to retirement account ownership. The report also found that only 10% to 15% of respondents felt on track to retire comfortably. Several aspects of myRA appealed to respondents including the absence of a minimum balance and the absence of penalties for early withdrawal. Additionally, a simple, direct, informational approach to promotional messaging proved more effective than personal messaging at driving interest in myRA.
Project: Refund to Savings
Roll, S. P., Oliphant, J. E., Perantie, D. C., Grinstein-Weiss, M., & Davison, G. (2017). Assessing retirement needs and interest in myRA: Findings from the Refund to Savings Initiative (CSD Research Report No. 17-16). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development. https://doi.org/10.7936/K74749DH