According to recent data, more than 30 percent of workers in the United States who are not retired do not have a retirement plan in place. For small businesses wishing to employ the best talent, attracting them can be difficult without offering a 401(k) plan. Unfortunately, many small businesses can’t afford to offer a 401(k) or other form of traditional requirement, such as a pension plan. With the help of the myRA program, however, you can provide your employees with a retirement option that will not be costly to you.

Exploring the myRA Program

With the myRA program, individuals who do not have a retirement plan through their employer can start saving for retirement on their own. The program allows individuals to contribute up to $5,500 per year toward retirement, or $6,500 per year for people over the age of 50. Through the program, employees can contribute to a Roth IRA that invests in Treasury savings bonds.

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When signing up for the program, individuals may choose to either have the funds contributed from their bank accounts or they can set up automatic direct deposit contributions through their employers. As another option for contributing to the fund, individuals can request to have their tax refunds direct deposited into their accounts.

While no one is going to get rich off of a myRA program, the Treasury Department sees it as “a starter retirement account” to help get first-time savers on the road toward saving for retirement. The myRA plan is particularly attractive to first-time investors because there is no risk involved with investing in Treasury savings bonds. Investors are guaranteed to receive a payout, with the returning percent being 2.31 in 2014. The myRA plan also provides flexibility, as account holders have the option to transfer their savings to a private sector Roth IRA offering a wider range of investment options.

Expanding the myRA Program

After it first unveiled the myRA plan, the Treasury Depratment tested it on just 60 employers over the past year. Earlier this month, the Treasury Department expanded the pilot myRA program to make it available to people throughout the country. While the maximum myRA balance is $15,000, the plan serves as a good starter plan to help people get started with building up a savings for retirement.

To be eligible to participate in a myRA plan, individuals must have an annual income of less than $131,000 or $193,000 if married and filing a joint tax return. According to one of the companies that participated in the pilot program, Norton’s Flowers & Gifts, six of the company’s 21 employees chose to participate. The company’s president, Tim Galea, reports that it did not impose any burden on his business. Not only was it free, but there was no extra hassle involved in helping his employees utilize the myRA as an option to save for retirement.

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