Countrywide Bank: Still Time to Contribute to 2006 IRA

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Countrywide Bank reminds consumers to consider an IRA through April 17, 2007.

Countrywide Bank, N.A., a member of the Countrywide Financial Corporation family of companies, reminds consumers that they have until April 17, 2007, to contribute to their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and certain other retirement plans for the 2006 tax year. For more information, visit any one of Countrywide Bank's 100 financial centers or call 800-283-8875 to discuss opening an IRA.

According to Countrywide Bank Managing Director and Head of Retail Banking and Investment Services Pierre P. Habis, saving for retirement - regardless of your age - is one of the smartest investment decisions you can make.

"Tax-advantaged retirement savings plans remain under-utilized by Americans of all ages," said Habis. "In 2006, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College issued a risk index that suggests 43 percent of working-age households are unlikely to have enough income to enjoy a retirement similar to their current standard of living. Tax season is a great time to get serious about saving for retirement, which is why we'd like to discuss IRAs with our customers and non-customers alike."

In addition to the April 17, 2007, contribution deadline extension, recent tax law changes make planning for retirement even easier and more advantageous. The enactment of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 added several new provisions, including:

  •     Individuals age 50 and older can contribute an extra $1,000 "catch-up amount" to IRAs, up to $5,000. The previous tax year's "catch-up" cap was $500.
  •     Employees age 50 and older whose employer offers a Saving Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE) can contribute an extra $2,500 "catch-up amount" to a SIMPLE-IRA.
  •     Direct rollovers of 401(k) assets to a Roth IRA are now allowed and are treated by the IRS as a Roth conversion.
  •     The IRA contribution maximum is $4,000 for 2006 if you are younger than 50.

"Opening an IRA is simple," Habis noted. "And, many banks, including Countrywide Bank, have attractive rates on IRA CDs - retirement savings that are invested in interest-bearing certificates of deposit." For more information about changes in the 2006 tax law, consult your tax advisor and visit http://www.irs.gov.

Since its launch in 2001, Countrywide Bank has steadily expanded the reach of its financial centers to 13 states including: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Its 100th financial center opened in January 2007 in Smithtown, New York, on Long Island. Located within many Countrywide Home Loans branches, Countrywide Bank employs a unique, low-overhead strategy of offering expertly staffed financial centers designed to meet the diverse savings and investment needs of its customers.

Countrywide Bank offers consumers diverse financial products, including SavingsLink, a high-yield online savings account; high-rate CDs; money market; and retirement accounts and, through its family of companies, also offers quality investment and insurance products*. With SavingsLink, individuals can earn interest rates among the highest in the nation on their savings, and maintain the flexibility to easily transfer money to and from their checking, money market or investment account. Additionally, SavingsLink's tiered model rewards customers who save more by offering higher interest rates for higher balances. For more information about Countrywide Bank, visit Google Video and query "Countrywide Bank."

About Countrywide Bank

Countrywide Bank, N.A. is a member of the Countrywide Financial Corporation family of companies. Countrywide Bank offers consumers highly competitive rates on certificates of deposit and money market accounts and, through its family of companies, also offers quality investment products*. Customers can review banking products and services, check rates on deposits, and apply for new accounts by phone, online, or at one of the financial centers located throughout the country. In addition, the company offers the same superior rates and unsurpassed personalized service to its business customers through its Premier Business Banking and Commercial Banking Divisions. For more information about Countrywide Bank, visit http://www.countrywidebank.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

  • Investment products offered through Countrywide Investment Services, Inc., Member NASD/SIPC. Insurance products offered through Countrywide Insurance Services (not available in all states).

Not FDIC Insured    Not Guaranteed By Any Bank    Not A Deposit

May Lose Value    Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency

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Dan Weidman, Corporate Communications