Trump administration ends myRA program that helped people save for retirement

President Donald Trump
Getty Images

The Obama-era myRA program, which was designed for those who didn't have access to a 401(K) or other retirement plan at work, is being shut down by the Treasury Department, reports the New York Times.

According to the Times, "Jovita Carranza, the United States Treasurer, said in a statement that demand for the accounts was not high enough to justify the expense. The myRA program has cost $70 million since 2014, according to Treasury, and would cost $10 million annually going forward."

President Barack Obama first announced myRA, short for my Retirement Account, in 2014 and the plan launched nationwide in November 2015. Since, 30,000 participants had contributed a total of $34 million.

It was geared towards lower-income workers who didn't have a lot of savings and it operated similarly to a Roth IRA. You could contribute after-tax earnings — up to $5,500 a year (or $6,500 for those age 50 or older) — that could be withdrawn tax-free for retirement.

Getty Images

There was no minimum to open an account and employees had the option to fund it with automatic payroll deductions or by making payments directly from a checking or savings account.

The myRA was considered a conservative way to save: Funds were invested only in a new United States Treasury retirement savings bond, which was guaranteed to never lose money. The trade off was that it wouldn't return nearly what a stock fund might.

Not everyone thought the myRA was a good idea. "The myRA actually has the working poor financing the government's deficit spending," certified financial planner . "By creating accounts that invest in a government pool, it's yet another way for the Treasury to raise funds without having to sell bonds in the public markets."

And while myRA ultimately encouraged saving for retirement — which many Americans are not prepared for — it had its limitations, including an account cap at $15,000.

It's now no longer an option. Participants will receive an email Friday morning notifying them that they can roll their myRA funds into a Roth IRA.

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook

Don't miss: Here's how much the average American family has saved for retirement

Retirement in America is changing rapidly
Retirement in America is changing rapidly