• 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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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.[...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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) [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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.[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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, [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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). [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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, [...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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, [...]

    Read more

    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:[...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    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 [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The coronavirus-related distribution (CRD) rules for Roth conversions have a gaping hole. An “affected person” (as we have defined in previous blogs), is entitled under the CARES Act to withdraw up to $100,000 from their IRA or workplace retirement plan. A CRD avoids the 10% early distribution penalty for those under 59 ½, can be repaid to a [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Sir: The CARES Act includes a waiver of RMDs for this year from company savings plans and IRAs. I am in the minority of retirees that took my 2020 RMD in January 2020, withheld 20% for taxes and am now finding out that I "missed" the 60-day rollover window to put the money back into my IRA by no fault of mine. Since RMDs are essentially [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The evil genie in the IRA lamp wants your money. He roars with laughter at the thought of you facing hard times. Given an opportunity, he will line the pockets of creditors with your IRA dollars, and he will serve your remaining non-qualified financial assets to the vultures, who will drag the accounts into the gutter and pick them clean. The evil [...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The recently passed CARES Act includes some changes that impact your HSA. These changes will allow you to access more medical services without worrying about your deductible, and also enable you to take more tax-free distributions from your HSA. Here’s what you need to know. Telemedicine Without Meeting Deductible HSAs are designed to work with a [...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: I have been taking my RMDs on a monthly basis in 2020. Since the Cares Act has suspended RMDs for 2020, I would like to rollover my past 2 distributions. I would like to aggregate those two distributions and roll them over. I have not performed any rollovers within the last 12 months. This is where it gets hairy. Some people are telling me I [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), certain individuals can take up to $100,000 of distributions from IRAs and company plans during 2020 and receive special tax relief. Those distributions are known as coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs). On May 4, the IRS released a set of Q&As pertaining to CRDs. The IRS did [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst For a number of years, the “mega backdoor Roth” strategy has been touted as a way for employees to convert large amounts of after-tax employee contributions to Roth IRAs. Unfortunately, in most cases the strategy won’t work. Here’s why. First, a little background. The mega backdoor Roth is simply the company retirement plan version of the backdoor Roth [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Dear Mr. Slott, I seem to have gotten myself into a jam with my 2020 RMD withdrawal and the CARES Act, as it stands now. Hoping you are able to help, or make a suggestion on how to proceed. In January, over three withdrawals, I took my entire 2020 RMD from an IRA. Then the CARES Act seemed to forgive/not require distributions during [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst 77 and sharp - that’s my dad. A voracious reader. Daily crossword puzzles. Curious. Engaged with the community. But he gets a little loose with technology. Comedic evidence suggests he is blissfully unaware if he is having a personal text conversation with me, or if the communication is part of a larger group text with his extended family. He is also[...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Did the SECURE Act change the rules for designated non-spouse inheritors of a Roth IRA? I believe they used to be able to take distributions based on their life expectancy. Does the 10-year rule also apply to Roth IRAs? Thanks, Dave Answer: Hi Dave, Yes, the SECURE Act did change the payout rules for most beneficiaries if the IRA [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Recovery Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, includes several important retirement-related provisions. Because some of these provisions are confusing, several misconceptions about the new law have arisen. In this edition of the Slott Report, we will attempt to set the record straight. Misconception #1: Everyone[...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Recovery Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, includes several important retirement-related provisions. Because some of these provisions are confusing, several misconceptions about the new law have arisen. In this edition of the Slott Report, we will attempt to set the record straight. Misconception #1: Everyone[...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst As the coronavirus pandemic has raged on, we have seen devasting images of overwhelmed hospitals and long lines of cars at food banks. If you are fortunate enough to have money to spare, you might be thinking about how you can help. One option to consider is a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). QCDs Still Available for 2020 In response to the [...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: I took 25% of my 2020 required minimum distribution (RMD) from an inherited IRA on March 15, 2020. Can that be “undone” in accordance with the CARES Act and if so, how?  Thanks. Audrey Answer: Hi Audrey, The CARES Act waives RMDs for 2020. The waiver does include inherited IRAs. However, any amounts already taken from an [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst I grew up in the northeast, where snow squalls sweep across Lake Ontario and cede to blue skies, where 85-degree summer days change to a biting rain at a moment’s notice. The folksy phrase around town was, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” Only nine days ago I wrote in the Slott Report about rolling over required minimum [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst I grew up in the northeast, where snow squalls sweep across Lake Ontario and cede to blue skies, where 85-degree summer days change to a biting rain at a moment’s notice. The folksy phrase around town was, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” Only nine days ago I wrote in the Slott Report about rolling over required minimum [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The recently-enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020, allows “qualified individuals” to take up to $100,000 of penalty-free IRA and company plan withdrawals during 2020. “Qualified individuals” include those who are (or whose family members are) sickened by the virus or who have [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi. What are the rules for QCDs now that required minimum distributions (RMDs) have been cancelled for 2020? Thanks for your help. Jerry Answer: Jerry, Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) are unaffected by the CARES Act. Even though RMDs are waived for 2020, you can still do a QCD if you otherwise qualify. While QCDs [...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst On March 27, the massive “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or the “CARES Act,” was signed into law. The CARES Act includes a waiver of required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020. This waiver applies to company savings plans and IRAs, including both traditional and Roth inherited IRAs. The waiver of RMDs for 2020 has raised [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Like most people’s lives, the retirement world is upside down. This is made evident by a single statement: “Required minimum distributions (RMDs) can be rolled over.” Yes, that is the new normal – at least for this year. RMDs are considered the first money out of an IRA and workplace plan. Typically, these dollars are ineligible to be rolled [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: The virus pandemic has prompted legislation that has eliminated the requirement for me to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from my IRA for the year 2020. Am I therefore allowed to do a partial Roth IRA conversion in 2020 without having to take 2020 RMD first? Answer: Yes. The CARES Act RMD waiver for 2020 means you are not required [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The recently-enacted “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or CARES Act, includes special tax relief for IRA and company plan withdrawals made in 2020 and for company plan loans. Who gets relief? Both the distribution and plan loan relief apply only to “qualified individuals.” Not everyone meets this definition. The definition includes:[...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst As the coronavirus pandemic has spread, many Americans have been hit hard. Their retirement accounts have also taken a serious blow as markets have plummeted. In these tough times, there is a bit of good news as the government has come through with some relief for retirement savers. IRA Deadline Extended until July 15 The IRS has extended the tax-filing[...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: With the COVID-19 changes to push the tax filing back to July 31st, can someone still make a 2019 contribution until that date or do all contributions need to be made by the usual April 15th deadline this year? Jerry Answer: Hi Jerry, This is a question we have been getting a lot! The IRS has confirmed that the deadline for making [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst By their nature, small businesses struggle in the shallows. Now they face a tsunami. However, when the shutters are removed and customers return and the employees are back on the payroll, normal day-to-day concerns will be a welcome relief. My guess is that many small business owners will create improvements, look to reward dedicated employees, and try to[...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst It’s common for IRA owners to leave their assets to multiple beneficiaries – for example, their children. Before the SECURE Act, it usually made sense to split the IRA into separate accounts either before or after death. That’s because beneficiaries could stretch payment of their shares over their life expectancy. But, if there were multiple beneficiaries [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: A daughter who has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis is listed as the beneficiary on her father’s Roth IRA.  Does this disease qualify as a “chronic illness” for purposes of the exception to the 10-year rule? Is there a definition that the IRS uses for chronic illness? If she doesn’t take the inherited IRA after 10 years but [...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The coronavirus has been wreaking havoc on markets and millions of retirement account balances have suffered significant losses. This has left many IRA owners looking at lower account balances after several years of gains and wondering what the next step should be. One strategy to consider in a market downturn is a Roth IRA conversion. Why Convert Now? [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When a person takes a distribution from his IRA or workplace plan, he has 60 days from the day of receipt to redeposit (i.e., roll over) those dollars into another qualified account. This assumes no other disqualifying rollovers have been done in the past 12 months and these dollars are otherwise eligible to be rolled over. If he fails to redeposit all or[...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi Ed, First of all, I'm a big fan.  Now here's my question: If I do a backdoor Roth conversion with exclusively nondeductible IRA contributions, is there a 5-year clock on withdrawing the converted dollars without penalty?  In this case there are no other outstanding IRA dollars. I know there’s a 5-year clock on conversions of deductible [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The amount of annual elective deferrals you can make to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan is limited by the tax code. If you discover that you’ve over-contributed in 2019, time is of the essence to correct the error. If you don’t act quickly, the tax consequences are serious. What is the limit?  For 2019, you were limited to $19,000 in elective deferrals (plus an [...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The SECURE Act eliminated the age restriction on contributions to traditional IRAs. The rule outlawing contributions for those 70 ½ or older is no more. This is good news for older IRA owners who are still working or have a spouse who is. Now, traditional IRAs have joined Roth IRAs as available options for eligible savers of all ages. This new rule may seem [...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: My dad was 86 when he died and I inherited half of his IRA, which I elected to stretch.  Am I correct in thinking that since I am not yet 70 ½, I am not allowed to direct qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from this IRA?  Please advise. Thanks, Ron. Answer: Hi Ron, You are correct. Beneficiaries can do QCDs, but to be [...]

    Read more

    RMD TRIVIA

    Mar

    4

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst True or False?  “It is mathematically impossible for an IRA account owner to have his first required minimum distribution (RMD) be due for the year 2020.” Here’s why this statement is true. First, we are not talking about inherited IRAs. If the account owner died in 2019, then the first RMD for the beneficiary needs to be taken by December [...]

    Read more

    By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Who can offer them? Most company retirement savings plans, such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans, are allowed to (but not required to) offer plan loans. Loans are not allowed from IRAs or SEP and SIMPLE-IRA plans. What is the maximum amount I can borrow? Plan loans are generally limited to the lesser of 50% of your vested account balance, or $50,000. Your [...]

    Read more

    By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Looking for your help. Husband has an inherited IRA (from his dad prior to the SECURE Act) and was taking RMDs using the single life table. Husband passes away in 2020 and leaves the inherited IRA to his wife who is age 65. What are the wife’s options for distribution? Thanks, Travis Answer: Travis, Under the SECURE Act, if[...]

    Read more

    By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The SECURE Act overhauled the rules for beneficiaries of retirement accounts. One significant change it brought is the new 10-year payout rule. Here are ten things you need to know about the new 10-year rule. 1. The 10-year rule applies to most nonspouse beneficiaries when the account owner dies in 2020 or later. The bottom line with the SECURE Act is that [...]

    Read more