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WASHINGTON – A new effort was recently launched to push for the passage of President Bush’s various savings accounts. Treasury Secretary John Snow joined Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) on March 8 in the launch of the Save Initiative, which is an effort to pass legislation enacting three of President Bush’s savings proposals. Bush has proposed the following: retirement savings accounts (RSAs), which would permit anyone to contribute up to $5,000 in yearly contributions for retirement savings. Like current Roth IRAs, contributions will not be deductible, but earnings would accumulate tax free and distributions after age 58 (or death or disability) would be tax free. Lifetime savings accounts (LSAs) would also allow anyone to contribute up to $5,000 in yearly contributions for retirement savings and penalty free withdrawals can be made at any time and for any purpose. Employer retirement savings accounts (ERSAs) would consolidate 401(k), thrift, 403(b), and governmental 457 plans as well as SARSEPs and SIMPLE IRAs into a single account. “These initiatives will give more hardworking Americans the opportunity to save so they can enrich their lives and strengthen their retirement security,” Snow, Thomas and Johnson said in a statement. “These proposals make saving simple for everyone and for every purpose. No longer will individuals have to worry about the confusing alphabet soup of six different savings accounts. No longer will people have to worry about the endless maze of confusing rules. These simple accounts will have one powerful goal – making saving for everyday life and retirement security easier and more attractive.” NAFCU, which has been a long-time supporter of the savings accounts, applauded the Save Initiative effort.

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