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ICBA Praises New Savings Legislation

Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2005) - The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauds Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) for the introduction today of their new SAVE Initiative.

The SAVE Initiative legislation includes three savings proposals aimed at improving savings rates and simplifying savings plans for all Americans. These savings proposals include Lifetime Savings Accounts (LSAs), Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs), and Employer Retirement Savings Accounts (ERSAs).

"Americans are not saving enough, and today more than ever we need simple savings products that everyone can use with ease. The new LSA and RSA legislation introduced by Sen. Thomas and Rep. Johnson would greatly enhance peoples' ability to better save and invest," stated Dale L. Leighty, ICBA chairman. ICBA was the first trade association to propose the creation of a new universal and simplified savings product, detailed in an ICBA tax study by Grant Thornton in 2003.

"Millions of Americans often cannot qualify for today's savings plans because of complex restrictions," said Paul Merski, ICBA chief economist and director of federal tax policy. "Saving and investing is the fuel of economic growth, and ICBA is delighted to see Congress and the Bush Administration promoting much-needed simple savings options."