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WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) is encouraging Congress to consider certificates of deposit as an option within President Bush’s proposal to privatize Social Security. In a Feb. 15 letter, Feeney asked William Thomas, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, to consider CDs offered by a community bank or savings association. “This option becomes more important as workers get closer to retirement age and would like to move their assets from stocks and bonds to an investment that protects their principle against potential market swings,” Feeney wrote. Including community banks in any reform bill could permit workers to roll over funds into more than one product, Feeney said. This rollover would give workers “the flexibility to invest part of their assets in relatively risk-free products (i.e., CDs) offered by FDIC-insured financial institutions and part of their assets into a higher risk/higher return portfolio if they choose to do so.” CUNA recently said it plans to meet with Feeney and other members of Congress to discuss including credit unions as an option to offer CDs as part of the President’s Social Security reform proposal. At press time, Feeney was in the process of calling on colleagues to endorse his proposition. Meanwhile, the America’s Community Bankers has expressed “strong support” for the CD inclusion from community banks, said Jim Eberle, ACB’s vice president, public relations and corporate communications. [email protected]

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