• By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: I recently retired and I plan to relocate to Tennessee. I would like to purchase a new home. Can I pull funds from my IRA to do so, and what would be the implications? Thank you. Edna Answer: Edna, If you are over 59 ½, you have full access to your IRA dollars with no strings attached – other than having to pay taxes on the[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The SECURE Act made many changes to the rules for beneficiaries who inherit retirement accounts. One of the most significant ones is the end of the stretch IRA for most beneficiaries. However, there are some beneficiaries called “eligible designated beneficiaries” (EDBs) who can still use the stretch.  How well do you understand this [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst There’s been some confusion about the retirement plan aspects of the COVID-19 stimulus package signed into law on December 27, 2020. One national news network has reported that the new law extends the CARES Act tax breaks for coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) into 2021. This is incorrect! At least for the moment, CRDs are no longer available. The [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst We are just a few days into the new year, and many people are anxious to get their full IRA contributions in for 2021. However, a common question is, “It’s only the first week of the year and I haven’t received a paycheck yet. Can I still make my contribution now, or do I need to wait until I actually have earned income?” There is no need to [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A new year brings a fresh start, and after 2020, we need that more than ever. You probably have a few resolutions for 2021. When making your list of goals for the new year, don’t overlook your IRA. Here are a few suggestions for your IRA for 2021. 1. Act sooner, rather than later. Thinking about making an IRA contribution? You have [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Can a retired person not working contribute to a Roth IRA? Answer: There are no age limits for Roth IRA contributions. This allows older people to contribute. However, the rules do require earned income. For example, income from a part time job would work. If you are married and your spouse has earned income, you can [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst From The Slott Report, December 30, 2019: “2020 promises to be an exciting year in the IRA and savings plan worlds, as the full ramifications of the new SECURE Act begin to take shape. Beyond that, the IRS will likely finalize the new life expectancy tables expected to become effective in 2021. And who knows what other IRS guidance and momentous court [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Ah, the end of the year. Snow is drifting, music plays quietly in the background. Ma in her kerchief, Papa in his cap, just settling down for a long winter’s nap… Nope. No time for that. ‘Tis the season of BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! Did you write a check to a charity from your checkbook IRA in hopes that it would be a qualified charitable distribution[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Recently, I received two checks, one for all assets in a Traditional IRA and one for all assets in a Roth. Mindful of the 60-day rollover rules, I endorsed one of them to my brokerage company to complete an IRA-to-IRA transfer. When attempting to do the same with the Roth funds, I was told that this would create another rollover and run [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education We at the Slott Report would like to wish all our readers a happy and safe holiday season. 2020 has been a year like no other. Thank you for taking your valuable time to read the Slott Report during this challenging period. The end of the year is always a time to look back. 2020 has been a busy year at the Slott Report. In January, the [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst One year ago from yesterday (December 20, 2019), President Trump signed into law the SECURE Act. At that time, virtually no one had heard of the coronavirus and certainly very few (if any) could have foreseen the global pandemic that’s still very much with us. The onset of the pandemic led Congress last March to also pass the CARES Act, which included certain [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hello, Can you still recharacterize a Roth contribution (due to income limits) to a Traditional IRA and then subsequently convert the IRA back to a Roth in the same year? Will this conflict with the new law that prohibits undoing a Roth conversion? Thanks you for your help, Marie Answer: Hi Marie, You can still do this. The 2017 [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Bob is 40 years old. He is a single tax filer, participates in a 401(k) at work, and makes a healthy annual salary of $160,000. Bob has consistently contributed $5,000 each year to his Traditional IRA for 5 years ($25,000 total). However, Bob could not deduct any of the contributions because he has always been over the phase-out range for tax filers [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The end of 2020 is almost here. With the end of the year come certain retirement account deadlines. Here are 5 items you should have on your 2020 year-end retirement plan to-do list: 1. Do a 2020 conversion If you are considering converting an IRA to a Roth IRA in 2020, time is quickly running out. The deadline for 2020 conversion [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: I am 79 and still employed. My employer has an SEP for me and I have a Rollover IRA from a previous employer. Can I transfer my Rollover IRA to the SEP account? Thank you, George Answer: Hi George, There are no restrictions in the tax law against combining a SEP IRA and traditional IRA that contains funds [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Thinking of using your IRA as a “short-term loan” to raise some extra cash for the holidays?  What could go wrong? Well, actually, two major things could go wrong. And either could lead to serious tax headaches. Let’s say Chloe started her holiday shopping early this year and, as usual, spent more than she had budgeted. Now the credit card bill is coming[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Recently we became aware of a multi-layered tax strategy that we think is a bridge too far when it comes to Coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs). In fact, it may even be outright tax fraud. As most readers are aware, the CARES Act created CRDs which waive the 10% early distribution penalty on up to $100,000 of 2020 distributions from IRAs and [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: My father passed away in 2019 and left me an IRA. Will the SECURE Act apply, or will it be grandfathered under the pre-2020 rules? Thank you. Aram Answer: Aram, Since your father passed away in 2019, we will default to the old pre-SECURE Act rules. You are permitted to set up an inherited IRA and stretch payments over your [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The clock is ticking if you are considering converting your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2020. More IRA owners are making this move this year as historically low tax rates and COVID-related income losses have combined to make this an ideal time to trade off the tax hit of a conversion for the promise of future tax-free Roth IRA [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Thanksgiving is behind us, and the end of the year will be here soon. (Many of us are truly thankful for that!)  This is a good time to remind you of certain tax breaks that will expire before we turn over the calendar to 2021. Many of these actions require cooperation from third-party IRA custodians and plan administrators, so you need to act fast. As that great[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst We have collectively crawled into the hollow of a 2020 tree and found ourselves in the Upside Down. (That is a “Stranger Things” reference, for the uninitiated.) The SECURE Act turned beneficiary options upside down. The CARES Act turned required minimum distribution rules upside down. The election and social unrest turned politics and race relations[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has recently added a new reason for self-certification of late rollovers to its list. Revenue Procedure 2020-46 modifies the list of reasons to include an IRA or company plan distribution made to a state unclaimed property fund and later claimed by an IRA owner or plan participant. Rev. Proc. 2020-46 is effective as of October 16.[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Good Morning, We have a client that passed away in November of 2019 at the age of 85. Her beneficiaries would be required to take their RMD in 2020. Are they eligible under the CARES Act to forgo that RMD for this year? Thank you, Linda Answer: Hi Linda, Yes, the CARES Act waiver of RMDs otherwise required for 2020 applies to [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We continue to get questions about the limits that apply for folks who participate in multiple company savings plans at the same time or who switch jobs in the middle of the year. What’s confusing is that there are two limits – the “deferral limit” and the “annual additions limit,” and you need to comply with both. Deferral limit. The deferral [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With Veterans Day being just last week, an overview of two military retirement benefits felt like an all-important and appropriate topic of discussion. One benefit pertains to a penalty exception for accessing retirement dollars prior to the age of 59 ½. The other relates to the treatment of military benefits when a soldier has made the ultimate [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Is there any problem with someone who is self-employed and has an active SEP making a deductible SEP contribution and an IRA QCD after age 70 1/2?  In this case, the QCD would come from the IRA while the SEP continues to be funded.  Does any offset apply? Bill Answer: Hi Bill, This is an interesting question! The [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Both Roth 401(k)s and Roth IRAs offer the ability to make after-tax contributions now in exchange for tax-free earnings down the road if the rules are followed. However, there are some important differences between the two retirement accounts that you will want to understand. 1. Contributions limits are higher for Roth 401(k)s One [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Good news! You can look forward to somewhat smaller required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRA and company retirement savings plan beginning in 2022. That’s because, on November 6, the IRS released new life expectancy tables that are used to calculate RMDs. The new tables are not effective until 2022. RMDs are waived for 2020, and RMDs for 2021 will be [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Great work you all do. Been a reader of Ed for a long time. How would this scenario work? New client of mine's husband passed away in 2019 and he had not taken his RMD. The plan was to transfer the account to my firm and take the RMD when it got to my firm as there was plenty of time. However, the insurance company kept rejecting the [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When a person under the age of 59 ½ takes a withdrawal from their IRA or company plan - like a 401(k) – there is a 10% penalty. However, this penalty can be avoided if the withdrawal qualifies for an exception. Some exceptions apply to both IRAs and plans, some to plans only, and some to IRAs only. With the craziness that is our current world, the [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The year 2020 has been a challenging one. With coronavirus cases rising in most of the country and economic relief stalled in Congress, many individuals may be looking to find funds to pay urgent bills. One possibility is a coronavirus-related distribution (CRD). While the first phase of the pandemic may be gone, the economic turmoil is [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Our estate planning attorney prepared trust documents a few years ago and he advised us to name the trust as a beneficiary.  This was done after discussion with him regarding a situation in case our son(s) divorce their wives.  The trust is prepared so that our sons are designated beneficiaries. I've been reading your Slott Report article that [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The October 19, 2020 Slott Report article, "Don't Overlook After-Tax Contributions!," explained how after-tax contributions in company plans work and discussed the dollar limits on them. This article will explain how distributions of after-tax contributions are taxed and can be rolled over separately. If you have both pre-tax deferrals and after-tax [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Trick-or-treating in the time of a pandemic is a challenge. Social distancing while handing out candy requires some creativity. The Slott Report has elected to place a big bowl of random treats in front of our house for the kids to pick from. We bought a lot of candy, so feel free to take more than one… Twix. Do not name your estate as your IRA [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Hello, If an individual has a solo 401(k), is this considered a "retirement plan at work" that would limit the deductibility of IRA contributions? Thanks! Susan Answer: Hi Susan, Being an active participant in a retirement plan for the year can limit your ability to deduct your traditional IRA contribution, [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Hello, If an individual has a solo 401(k), is this considered a "retirement plan at work" that would limit the deductibility of IRA contributions? Thanks! Susan Answer: Hi Susan, Being an active participant in a retirement plan for the year can limit your ability to deduct your traditional IRA contribution, [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With the popularity of Roth 401(k) contributions, after-tax employee contributions have gotten short shrift. But, if your plan offers them, after-tax contributions are worth considering because they can significantly boost your retirement savings. What are they? After-tax contributions are elective deferrals made from already-taxed salary. You make after-tax [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: An 85-year-old died in 2020 and left his IRA to his 53-year-old son. Father did not take 2020 $107,000 RMD. Does the son have to take it? Does the son have to take anything in first 9 years, including this RMD? Thank you. Answer: The CARES Act waived RMDs for IRAs in 2020. Even if an IRA owner dies in 2020, his year-of-death RMD [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As Halloween approaches and the leaves change color, families gather ‘round weekend campfires, roast marshmallows, and share spooky stories. Watchful owls hoot in the dark. In the distance, a wolf howls at the moon. A rustle in the bushes. A twig snaps. What was that?!? A dad in a flannel shirt shines a flashlight under his chin, his features [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Educations For trusts that inherited an IRA in 2019, an important deadline is approaching. October 31, 2020 is the due date to provide required trust documentation to the IRA custodian to ensure that the longest payout period possible is available for the inherited IRA. Generally, only individuals who are named on an IRA beneficiary form can be [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Sir, I inherited an IRA from my sister two years ago. She was collecting RMDs at 78. My question involves collecting my sister’s RMD. Does the 10-year withdrawal go into effect now or do I use the table under my age, which is 73? Charles Answer: Hi Charles, Since your sister died before 2020, the rules in effect before the SECURE[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With the recent economic downturn, you may be more concerned than ever about keeping retirement plan funds safe from creditors. If you participate in a plan covered by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), you can sleep well at night. Your plan accounts are completely shielded from creditors – whether or not you’ve declared [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Many years ago, my wife and I went to lunch at a pizza joint in a strip mall. The friendly gray-haired host in sensible shoes (whom I pegged for mid-to-late 60’s), tucked two menus under her arm, grabbed a couple sets of silverware wrapped in white paper napkins, and led us to our booth. Since the noontime rush was yet to hit, our host decided to chat.[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Would you kindly clarify the rule that governs the withdrawal period and the tax implication (if any) of RMDs from an inherited IRA? The SECURE Act and the IRS document 590B are not clear. Here is the situation: I have a traditional IRA with my granddaughter as the sole beneficiary. My understanding is that before the SECURE[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Times are tough. Unemployment is high and bills are piling up for many. These realities have forced a lot of people to look for sources of extra cash. For many Americans, their IRA is their biggest, or maybe only, savings available. It may be tempting to consider tapping into it in these challenging times. Distributions taken before age 59 [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi there! I have a quick question, so I thought I’d reach out to you to get your take on this. This year, IRA RMD’s have been waived, even for inherited IRA’s. That said, if a non-spouse inherits an IRA this year – and the new RMD rules dictate a 10-year withdrawal – but this year’s RMD is waived – does this year (2020) [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst An argument could be made that the easiest financial document to complete is the IRA beneficiary form. Yet somehow this basic information consistently gets overlooked, mishandled, lost or fouled up. It’s not rocket science. Don’t complicate things. Keep it simple if you can. Case in point: an attorney drafted a fancy addendum to a beneficiary form[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Think of a top hat, and you’ll likely conjure up images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt or the temporarily-deceased Mr. Peanut or Rich Uncle Moneybags from Monopoly. But a “top hat plan” is also the informal name of a type of section 457(b) plan for management employees (hence the name “top hat”) of private tax-exempt companies such as hospitals. A top hat [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Ed and team, I am sure my question has been asked by others.  Now under the SECURE Act with no more stretch features to an inherited IRA, if a person dies and leaves his IRA to a child and that child waits 9 years and 11 months after the year of death and named his children (taxpayer’s grandchildren) as his successor beneficiaries, do they have [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A significant percentage of IRA assets will ultimately go to nonspouse beneficiaries. When these beneficiaries inherit the funds, special rules kick in. Inherited IRAs are not like other IRA accounts. Here is what you need to know if you inherited an IRA from someone who is not your spouse: 1. You should consider all your options before[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Gradually, the IRS is clarifying sections of the SECURE Act that require further guidance. In Notice 2020-68, released September 2, the IRS addressed a number of items in a Q&A format. For example, “Is a financial institution that serves as trustee, issuer, or custodian for an IRA required to accept post-age 70½ contributions in 2020 or [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: Does the SECURE Act have any implication to Roth IRA account inheritance longevity? Please let me know.  Thank you. Regards, Vikram Answer: Hi Vikram, The SECURE Act does affect inherited Roth IRAs in the same way it affects inherited traditional IRAs. Most beneficiaries who inherit a Roth IRA in 2020 or later[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In Notice 2020-68, issued September 2, 2020, the IRS gave limited guidance on certain retirement provisions of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (the “SECURE Act”). The SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. Notice 2020-68 does not address one of the most significant SECURE Act changes: the elimination of the [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Good Afternoon Ed Slott and Company, LLC, I was inquiring about a recent situation with a client that came up and if you could be of any assistance. We recently had a client pass away who was the account holder of an inherited IRA from his mother. This client died in July 2020. The deceased listed his wife as 100% primary beneficiary of [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or maybe even because of it, real estate markets in many areas of the country are busy right now. If you are considering jumping in, and if this is your first home purchase, coming up with a down payment can be daunting. Here is how an IRA can help a first-time homebuyer. Exceptions to the 10% Penalty [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As sure as the sun will rise, someone will take a distribution from his IRA tomorrow. And as sure as the moon will set, someone will fail to roll over his IRA distribution within 60 days. And as sure as the wind will blow, so too will the icy gusts from the IRS as penalties and taxes accumulate like a snowdrift upon said distribution when the 60-day [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: I had taken an RMD in January 2020 from an IRA account. Then in July, I returned a portion back to the same IRA. Now I want to return another portion back to the IRA. Are multiple transactions for reversal allowed? Thanks for your quick reply in advance. Piyush Answer: Hi Piyush, You are allowed to pay back an IRA distribution [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Some of you may have received an RMD (required minimum distribution) from an IRA or employer plan earlier this year that you don’t want to keep. Since the CARES Act waived RMDs for 2020, “RMDs” received in 2020 are technically not RMDs and are eligible for rollover. The IRS has relaxed the usual 60-day rollover rule if an RMD is repaid by August 31. (The [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The upcoming school year for many students is going to look like nothing we have ever seen before. For many, computers and related technology will become an indispensable part of academic life. This means that having reliable equipment and internet access is more important than ever. For many families this is just another unexpected expense[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Question: In December of 2018 I did my first partial Roth IRA conversion into a new Roth IRA. I’m older than 59 ½. In December of 2019 I did my second partial Roth IRA conversion into the same Roth IRA opened in December of 2018. The traditional and Roth IRA’s are held at the same company, so the conversions are easy. Does the [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Dollar cost averaging is a tried-and-true investment strategy that has existed for decades. Using this technique, an investor divides up their entire amount to be invested and makes smaller periodic purchases over a desired time. The goal of dollar cost averaging is to minimize the potential volatility of a single large investment. Essentially, dollar [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Many of you may have already received, or may be receiving, an RMD (required minimum distribution) from your employer plan this year. If the CARES Act waived 2020 RMDs from plans and IRAs this year, how could a company plan be making RMD payments? The answer is a little complicated. Under the tax code, plans are allowed to force participants to receive a [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Client has a Thrift Savings Plan and took RMDs in January, February and March of 2020. Client then rolled the balance of the TSP into an IRA. Question is whether or not he can “repay” those RMDs to the IRA under Notice 2020-51. Thanks. Answer: Yes, the three RMD payments can be “repaid” to the IRA, but a deadline is fast [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education We are in the dog days of summer and this year is a crazy and unsettling time. The last thing on your mind may be your IRA. However, you should be aware that an important deadline is quickly approaching. If you took your 2020 required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA and now want to repay it, your time may be running out. The [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Yes, trusts can play an instrumental role in estate planning. Yes, special needs trusts are invaluable to those with disabled or chronically ill family members. Trusts are essential for minors and for those who may struggle with managing money. Trusts also allow for post-death control of assets. But they are not for everyone, nor are they a panacea when [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: I can't find the answer to this question anywhere, so I thought I'd go straight to the experts. Does the CARES Act waive the requirement for a surviving spouse to distribute the RMD in 2020 prior to re-registering the IRA in the surviving spouse's name? The deceased spouse had reached their required beginning date. I've read Notice 2020-51, but [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Hidden within the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) signed into law last December is a provision giving businesses extra time to establish certain new tax-qualified retirement plans. Prior to the SECURE Act, a new workplace plan had to be adopted by the last day of the employer’s tax year. Despite that deadline for [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Last year the SECURE Act became law and eliminated the stretch IRA for millions of IRA beneficiaries. However, for some IRA beneficiaries the stretch lives on. For most beneficiaries, the stretch is now replaced with a ten-year payout period. Beginning for deaths in 2020, the ten-year rule will apply to designated beneficiaries who are [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst With more 401(k) plans offering Roth contributions and more folks taking distributions from their plans, now’s a good time to review the tax rules governing Roth 401(k) distributions. Qualified distributions. If your Roth 401(k) distribution meets the requirements for a “qualified distribution,” you’re in luck: It comes out completely tax and [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Once the RMD’s for 2020 were suspended, I withdrew what would have been my RMD from my traditional IRA and deposited it in my Roth IRA.  Can I now withdraw that amount from my Roth and repay it to my traditional IRA? Thank you. Russ Answer: Russ, Once you deposited the RMD amount into your Roth IRA, it became a conversion.[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst It happens. You have made a 2019 contribution to the wrong type of IRA. All is not lost. That contribution can be recharacterized. While recharacterization of Roth IRA conversions was eliminated by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, recharacterization of IRA contributions is still available and can be helpful in many situations. Maybe you contributed to a [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The IRA and plan rollover rules have been in constant flux this year. We are now past the original July 15 extended rollover deadline. This was the first extension date created by IRS Notice 2020-23. Distributions from an IRA or company plan taken February 1 or later could have been rolled back to an IRA or company plan beyond the standard 60-day rollover[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: For COVID "special" Aug 31 rollovers, am I allowed to return my 401(k) required minimum distribution (RMD) to my IRA? Thank you, Maria Answer: Hi Maria, Yes, the CARES Act and subsequent IRS guidance allows unwanted 2020 401(k) RMDs to be repaid through rollover to an IRA (or company plan) by August 31. Question: My daughter [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Admittedly, it’s not such a bad problem to have. Nonetheless, it’s true that high-paid company plan participants can have their benefits limited by the IRS compensation limit. The compensation limit is $285,000 for 2020 and goes up most years based on cost-of-living increases. It was $280,000 for 2019 and $275,000 for 2018. Pay above the limit can’t be[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The countdown to the much delayed 2019 tax filing deadline is on. The deadline is July 15, 2020, which is only a couple of days away. Time is running out. Is your IRA ready? Making Your 2019 IRA Contribution Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 2019 tax-filing deadline has been extended until July 15, 2020. This means that July 15, 2020 is also the deadline [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hello, I am aware of the IRA one-rollover-per-year rule. What I can’t find is if a married couple that files jointly violates the rule if they each do a rollover from their own individual IRAs? For example: One person has an IRA in their name and takes a distribution and rolls it over within the 60-day limit avoiding the taxable [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we have written on many occasions, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act) waives required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020. This waiver applies to company savings plans and IRAs, including both inherited traditional and inherited Roth IRAs. While that sounds like a straightforward announcement, the RMD waiver has [...]

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    By Ian Beger, JD IRA Analyst There’s been a flurry of recent government regulation of company retirement plans. Here’s a quick summary: Electronic Disclosure of Retirement Plan Documents On May 27, 2020, the Department of Labor published a final regulation making it easier for employers to issue retirement plan notices to participants electronically. Notices can be posted on a [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: If someone took two IRA distributions earlier in 2020 that were considered RMDs, and now wishes to repay the cumulative amount back into the same IRA, are there any rules about the number of rollover deposits they can make in order to do so? Must it be done in 1 transaction, or 2, or could it be spread out across even more? Thank you, [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst IRAs are supposed to be for saving for retirement but in challenging economic times like these many individuals may be forced to take distributions before retirement age. Be careful! If you tap your IRA before reaching age 59 ½, the bad news is that you run the risk of being hit with the 10% early distribution penalty. The good news is that there are some [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst After a six-month sprint through a diabolical obstacle course of new laws, a pandemic, record unemployment, deaths, confusion and complete disruption of everyone’s professional and personal lives, this seems like a good time to recap the madness of the previous 180 days. January 1, 2020 – The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi Ed, If a person takes that 100k distribution, can they elect to split evenly in 2020-2022 as income? Or can they determine how to apply the income? Shannon Answer: Hi Shannon, Those persons who qualify for up to $100,000 of 2020 coronavirus-related distribution (not everyone does) can spread out income evenly over their 2020-2022 [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The IRS has extended the rollover deadline for required minimum distributions (RMDs) taken from IRAs or company plans in 2020. In Notice 2020-51, released on June 23, the IRS said that any unwanted 2020 RMDs can be repaid via rollover to an IRA or company plan by August 31, 2020. Normally, RMDs cannot be rolled over. However, the CARES Act waived 2020 RMDs (and[...]

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    Are you acting in your clients’ best interest when it comes to rollovers? On June 30, the new SEC Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) becomes effective. Reg BI establishes a “best interest” standard of conduct for broker-dealers when they make recommendations to clients of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities. Reg BI specifically covers proposals for rolling [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst On June 19, the IRS released additional guidance on coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) from retirement accounts. The new guidance will make many more individuals eligible for these tax-advantaged distributions allowed under the CARES Act. What Is a CRD? If you qualify as an “affected individual”, you can take up to $100,000 of distributions from[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Thank you for all the great resources you provide. I have been looking for an answer to my specific situation and have not been able to find a clear answer to what I think is a pretty straight forward situation/fact pattern. I take my RMDs spread over a monthly basis on the 6th of each month. (I have taken four in 2020 - Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr). [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst FIX: Rolling Over the Tax Withheld on a Distribution. Was the mandatory tax of 20% withheld on your work plan withdrawal even though you intended to roll over the entire account? Did you change your mind on an IRA withdrawal and now want to roll it back, but you elected to have taxes withheld on the initial distribution? If money was withheld for taxes [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS has temporarily relaxed the rule that spousal consent to certain retirement plan distributions and loans must be witnessed personally by a notary public or a plan representative. In Notice 2020-42, issued June 3, 2020, the IRS says that remote witnessing can be used for 2020 spousal waivers. This issue arises [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Under the SECURE Act, if we can assume a Special Needs Trust can qualify for the stretch via the disabled beneficiary, what happens when the special needs trust beneficiary passes? The next named beneficiary (remainder) is a brother and/or nephew under this trust. Yet it's already an inherited IRA. Would that formula continue to the next [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst By now, most IRA owners have heard the bad news. The SECURE Act eliminates the stretch IRA for the majority of beneficiaries who inherit in 2020 or later. Instead, for most, a 10-year payout rule will apply. Here is how this new rule works and how, for some beneficiaries, there may be new planning opportunities available. How It Works This new 10-year [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The King of the Land wanted to send 100,000 of his greatest warriors off to battle. However, he was told that 20,000 of the warriors needed to remain behind to protect the castle. The King of the Land did not like this news. He wanted a full complement of soldiers in the fight. So, the King of the Land decided to send all 100,000 warriors off to battle, [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: I understand that I don’t have to take any RMDs during 2020.  However, is the CARES Act rule that it is an-all-or-nothing for RMDs or can I take a portion of my RMD for 2020 but not all John Answer: Hi John, Since RMDs are waived this year, you have complete flexibility. In 2020 you can take none of what would have been your RMD, some[...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst As a result of the current economic downturn, we can expect more and more companies to offer lump sum buyouts to employees with defined benefit (DB) plan benefits. A lump sum buyout is a limited opportunity for DB plan participants to elect one lump sum distribution in exchange for giving up future periodic payments. The decision of whether to accept a lump sum[...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the Corona virus pandemic hit in in the middle of March. With job loss can come questions of what to do with retirement savings such as your 401(k) plan. A rollover to an IRA may be good move for you. Here are three reasons why: 1. You can continue your retirement savings. When you [...]

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    Friday, May 29, 2020 The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act single-handedly upended many long-standing retirement rules when it became effective on January 1, 2020. Shockingly, the SECURE Act was pushed to the back burner when all the world was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Only three months after SECURE was introduced to the American public, [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Since no RMD in 2020 is required, what will the tax treatment be for QCD checks to charities written before the CARES Act became effective? Will 1099-R dollar amounts be included in AGI and charitable contributions only deductible if taxpayer itemizes on Schedule A? Do you recommend against making further QCD checks in 2020? Mike Answer:[...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Gold members of a national hotel chain, big airline or just the local club expect lofty benefits for their dedicated patronage. Bronze members have access to A, B and C. Silver members have access to A, B, C, plus D, E and F. At the highest level, gold members earned not only A through F, but also whatever additional allowances their premium membership [...]

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    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Recovery (CARES) Act continues to cause confusion. In the April 22, 2020 Slott Report, we discussed four misconceptions surrounding the new law. In this article, we add one more: If your employer refuses to offer CRDs, you can’t qualify for the special CARES Act tax breaks. This statement is false. The CARES Act [...]

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    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi, My question is:  Does the SECURE Act affect inheritors of a Roth IRA account?  If so, in what way, and why - since it is not a pre-tax account? I look forward to your reply.  Thanks. Regards, Vikram Answer: Vikram, Yes, the SECURE Act does affect inherited Roth IRAs for those who inherit in 2020 or later. (Any [...]

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    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst With markets down, many IRA owners are thinking this may be the time for a Roth IRA conversion. Converting when account values are down can be a good bargain. You pay a tax bill on a lower balance now in exchange for potential tax-free growth down the road when the markets bounce back. This can be a great strategy, but you need to be careful in executing [...]

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