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ICBA Praises Thomas-Johnson Bills to Create Lifetime Savings Accounts

Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2004) - The Independent Community Bankers of America congratulated Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) for introducing companion bills that would establish tax-advantaged Lifetime Savings Accounts for all Americans.

"Lifetime Savings Accounts would give millions of people a new, flexible savings option to achieve their financial dreams and goals," said ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine. "These savings accounts would establish a less-restrictive, easy-to-use, tax-advantaged savings option that would allow millions of typical Americans to increase their personal savings for a wide range of financial needs. ICBA applauds the foresight of Sen. Thomas and Rep. Johnson. Their bills would give a long-term shot in the arm to our economy and the nation's flagging savings rate."

The concept of Lifetime Savings Accounts was a top policy recommendation in ICBA's comprehensive tax study, "Community Bank Tax Relief and Simplification Options." The ICBA study outlines various federal tax policy options for Congress to boost America's individual savings rate and spur economic growth, including the creation of more universal, tax-advantaged savings accounts. Since then, the ICBA has worked closely with Treasury, Congress and the National Savings Coalition in supporting Lifetime Savings Accounts, which would allow individuals to save up to $5,000 per year in after-tax savings for multiple purposes without any further additional tax penalty.

"As the country's tax code and financial investment options have grown increasingly complex, more Americans need simplified, secure options to save money for the future," Fine said. "Lifetime Savings Accounts are one smart and timely public policy prescription to address this savings need."

For more information on ICBA's tax study, visit www.icba.org/pressroom.