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ICBA Praises Expanded Savings Accounts in Bush Budget

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 2, 2004) - The Independent Community Bankers of America praised the superior personal saving accounts advanced in President Bush's 2005 federal budget. ICBA, the nation's largest community bank trade association, has long-advocated the need for these new savings accounts that would both simplify and expand how Americans save. These accounts square neatly with ICBA's top recommendation to establish more flexible savings options promoted in its recent study Community Bank Tax Relief and Simplification Options.

"Today's array of complex, restrictive and fragmented savings plans prevents Americans from having a simple and flexible account to meet their various savings needs. It's no secret that millions of Americans often cannot qualify for today's tax-advantaged savings plans because of complex restrictions," said Paul Merski, ICBA chief economist and director of federal tax policy. "President Bush's new savings accounts fill a genuine need to better ensure adequate savings for all Americans."

The President's budget would create two new simple savings accounts — a Retirement Savings Account and a Lifetime Savings Account. Individuals could save up to $5,000 after-tax per year in each account. Earnings and qualified distributions would be tax-free.

Increased saving and investing is the needed fuel to ignite widespread economic growth for the country, and ICBA applauds the Administration for promoting expanded savings options.