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Treasury kills Obama IRA boondoggle, cost taxpayers $70M to manage $34M

President Barack Obama signs a memorandum directing the Treasury Department to create a new retirement saving account after speaking at the U.S. Steel Irvin Plant, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in West Mifflin, Pa., about retirement policies he highlighted in the State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In the latest move to kill costly Obama-era regulations and programs, the Treasury Department Friday ended a little-used IRA plan that has cost taxpayers nearly $70 million to manage just $34 million in investments.

The drawdown of the "MyRA" program came after a Treasury review of current programs and regulations found that it was a prime target for cost savings.

"The myRA program was created to help low to middle income earners start saving for retirement. Unfortunately, there has been very little demand for the program, and the cost to taxpayers cannot be justified by the assets in the program. Fortunately, ample private sector solutions exist, which resulted in less appeal for myRA. We will be phasing out the myRA program over the coming months. We will be communicating frequently with participants to help facilitate a smooth transition to other investment opportunities," said Jovita Carranza, U.S. Treasurer.

The numbers for MyRa were horrible.

Treasury said that there are 20,000 accounts with a median balance of $500. An additional 10,000 accounts have a zero balance.

Overall, participants have contributed $34 million so far to their retirement accounts.

However, taxpayers have paid nearly $70 million to manage the program since 2014.

And, according to officials, the fund is expected to cost taxpayers $10 million a year to manage MyRA.

The department said that a better deal are private retirement accounts that offer no fees and safety.

"We are committed to promoting retirement savings, and, as Treasurer, I plan to devote a substantial amount of my time to ensuring more Americans have the tools and knowhow to save for retirement," said Carranza.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com