November 19,2014

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Wyden Calls for Action to Address "Mega IRAs"

GAO Report Marks Effort to Make Retirement System Work for All

WASHINGTON –Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued a statement following the release of a GAO report on IRAs with very large account balances, also known as “mega IRAs.” GAO found that for tax year 2011, roughly 600,000 taxpayers had IRA accounts worth more than $1 million – and about 9,000 taxpayers had IRAs worth more than $5 million. Those figures stand in stark contrast to most Americans, who had a median IRA account balance of about $21,000. The Finance Committee held a hearing on this and other retirement savings issues in September.  

“The state of retirement savings in the U.S. is completely out of whack. On one hand you’ve got people sheltering millions of dollars in mega IRAs, while at the same time nearly a third of Americans have nothing set aside for retirement. It’s abundantly clear that America needs a better system and tax code that supports retirement planning for all Americans,” Wyden said. “I’m committed to working with Treasury and the IRS to implement GAO’s recommendations and help prevent additional abuse and fraud in the tax code.”

In response to the report, Wyden sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen requesting they move forward on implementing GAO’s recommendations. Continuing his push to increase and protect existing retirement savings, Wyden also sent a letter to the GAO requesting a review of self-directed IRAs, which may be a growing target for fraud.

GAO’s full report can be found here.

Wyden’s letter to Secretary Lew and Commissioner Koskinen can be found here. Wyden’s letter to the GAO on self-directed IRAs can be found here.