Company claims MyRA nameNews added by Benefits Pro on January 31, 2014

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By Paula Aven Gladych

A company in Sioux Falls, S.D., claims that President Barack Obama’s new retirement savings option for low- and middle-income Americans was its idea.

Kingdom Trust Co. established the MyRA in 2009 to administer individual retirement accounts, but although they share a name, they are two different retirement vehicles.

The president announced the MyRA concept during his State of the Union address on Jan. 28, which would allow anyone who would like access to a retirement plan to defer money into a MyRA account through deferrals from their paycheck. The money would invest in safe government bonds and would eventually be rolled over into a Roth IRA once the balance reached $15,000.

Kingdom Trust’s self-directed IRA already serves thousands of Americans across the U.S., but it is a more flexible and traditional IRA product.

"When I first heard the president say it, I wasn't quite sure what he said," said Doug Lawson, the president and CEO of Kingdom Trust. "Then I replayed his remarks and confirmed that he actually said, 'MyRA', and I realized that he was using our product name to deliver a message emphasizing long-term safety and portfolio growth, much like we do every day.”

Kingdom Trust's 'MyRA' accounts also encourage building a nest egg for retirement, but with much more diversity and individual control. Since the self-directed IRA emerged almost 40 years ago, individuals have been able to invest in numerous types of assets besides the traditional stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

"The self-directed IRA may be the greatest generational wealth building tool ever created," Lawson said. "It offers true portfolio diversification and opens up opportunities into asset classes that are not available through traditional avenues. But to be truly successful it requires a proper custodian, and an informed and educated investor."

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