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WASHINGTON — The newly-signed Pension Protection Act of 2006 contains several key provisions to help people “catch up” with their retirement savings. Sage Eastman, communications director for Michigan Congressman Dave Camp (R-Midland), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, shared some of the provisions with listeners of CUNA’s Home and Family Finance radio show, which broadcast on Sept. 17 on the Radio America Network. The radio program made its debut Sept. 10. Eastman said credit unions are a good place to start for those who have more questions about how the new legislation affects them. “If all of a sudden you’re in your 50s or 60s and you’ve just started thinking about retirement, it’s a little late,” Eastman said. “[There's] some changes in the bill to make it easier to catch up. Under the new law, by 2008, IRA contribution ceilings will increase to $5,000 for those 50 and younger and $6,000 for older savers and remain at those levels. The pension reforms also give permanent authority for both the Retirement Savings Tax Credit (Saver’s Credit), which allows lower-income savers to offset up to $2,000 of retirement account contributions–with the maximum credit being $1,000–and for “catch up” contributions first included in the 2001 Tax Act. The catch-up provision enables savers over the age of 50 to make higher contributions to their IRAs. It was set to expire by the end of this decade. Other guests on the radio program were Linda Foley, co-founder and co-executive director, Identity Theft Resource Center on college students and identity theft; Larry Zaglaniczny, director of congressional relations, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators on student loans; and Deborah Zuckerman, senior attorney, AARP Foundation on payday lenders and older citizens. On Sept. 18, 33 stations aired the weekly, national one-hour radio program, which can be heard anytime via the Internet. Log on to CUNA’s site at http://www.cuna.org/initiatives/hff_radio/ for more details. Questions can be e-mailed to radio program host Paul Berry at [email protected]

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