MyRA won’t close the nest egg gap, but maybe the states can

If states are the laboratories of democracy, they need to start some retirement savings experiments – quick. About half of Americans haven’t been able to create nest eggs at all, and the labs working the problem in Washington haven’t found solutions.

That’s my take on MyRA, the retirement saving program PresidentBarack Obama announced during his State of the Union address last week. MyRA – My IRA, if you will – aims to help workers at companies that don’t have retirement plans set aside small amounts from their paychecks in a savings bond-like product.

MyRA probably is the best gridlocked Washington can do to address the yawning retirement savings gap – President Obama was able to put it in motion through an executive order. But it’s small-bore. MyRA won’t have automatic enrollment, which would boost participation dramatically. Employer participation will be voluntary. And contributions can be invested only in low-return Treasuries. Accounts can be opened with an initial investment as low as $25, and subsequent investments as little as $5.

Outside of Washington, people are thinking bigger. Learn more at Reuters Money.