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“Third-party posts from Ed Slott’s IRA Blog:”

IRA BLOG

CONGRESS LOOKS TO ELIMINATE BACK-DOOR ROTH STRATEGIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The House Ways and Means Committee has released a draft of proposed changes to retirement accounts, including adding income limits for conversions and eliminating the back-door Roth conversion strategy. These...

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FIXING A 60-DAY ROLLOVER ERROR

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Are you moving assets between IRAs or from a company plan to an IRA (or vice-versa)? You should know that using a direct transfer is a much better idea than doing a 60-day rollover. Direct transfers avoid all of the possible issues which...

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YEAR-OF-DEATH RMDS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When an IRA owner taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) dies before removing his annual RMD, that year-of-death RMD (or whatever portion remains) must still be withdrawn. Upon passing, the year-of-death RMD immediately...

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RETIREMENT ACCOUNT RELIEF FOR DISASTER VICTIMS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education President Biden has declared September to be National Preparedness Month. The goal is to encourage Americans to be more prepared for natural disasters. Unfortunately, from flooding on the east coast to fires on the...

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HOW DO REVOCATION-ON-DIVORCE LAWS WORK WITH ERISA PLANS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst What if you have an IRA with your spouse as primary beneficiary, get divorced without changing your beneficiary and then die? Who inherits your IRA benefits. If you live in one of the 26 states (as of June 2018) that have...

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REAL ESTATE IN AN IRA – AVOIDING A “NUISANCE PROPERTY”

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Yes, you are allowed to own real estate in an IRA. Of course, not every IRA custodian will accommodate such an investment, but that doesn’t mean it is forbidden. If you want to own a beach house in your IRA, or a commercial...

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STRATEGIES WHEN YOUR IRA CONTRIBUTION CANNOT BE DEDUCTED

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The other day an advisor called us with an issue that comes up frequently, especially in these tumultuous times. His client had made an IRA contribution for 2021 and was planning on deducting that contribution....

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THE MEGA BACKDOOR ROTH IRA STRATEGY AND SOLO 401(K) PLANS

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In the August 16, 2021 Slott Report, we showed that someone participating in a 401(k) plan through a “regular” job could also establish a solo 401(k) plan through a side job and potentially contribute up to $58,000 this year in after-tax...

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AGGREGATING RMDS – WHAT IS (AND WHAT IS NOT) ALLOWED

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Recently, I had a conversation with an advisor who wanted a second opinion. He disagreed with how a 401(k) custodian was handling his client’s required minimum distribution (RMD). To arm himself with facts, the advisor contacted us...

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10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ESAS

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It’s back to school time! Any parent will tell you that education can be expensive. You cannot afford to miss out on any possible option out there that may help you save. One savings tool that you might overlook is...

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MAKING SENSE OF THE 401(K) MULTIPLE PLAN LIMITS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We continue to get lots of questions about the company savings plan contribution limits. There are actually two different contribution limits – the “deferral limit” and the “overall limit.” This makes things very confusing, especially if...

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UPDATE YOUR BENEFICIARY FORMS!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Regardless of whether you open an IRA, participate in a 401(k) plan, buy a life insurance policy, or start a college saving plan for a child, there is a critical detail which should never be overlooked: naming a beneficiary....

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YOUR QCD QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a way for you to move funds out of your IRA to a qualifying charity income tax free. This can be a great strategy for those who are charitably inclined and looking to save...

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401(K) PLANS & IRA CUSTODIANS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Educations Question: If you are an employee who participates in a 401(k) who retires at age 73, do you have to take an RMD in the year you retire, or can you take your RMD by April 1 of the year following retirement? If you...

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5 HSA BENEFITS THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Educations You may be familiar with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). These accounts have been around now for a while. They work with high deductible health insurance and are known for their triple tax benefits. Contributions...

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10 NUA Q&AS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst 1. What is the NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) tax break? It is the opportunity to pay tax at long-term capital gains rates on the appreciation of company stock held within a company plan vs. paying ordinary income rates on that...

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5 TAKEAWAYS FROM ED SLOTT’S INSTANT IRA SUCCESS WORKSHOP

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education On July 15 and 16, financial advisors from around the country gathered virtually for Ed Slott and Company’s Instant IRA Success workshop. We took a deep dive into the rules governing retirement accounts and engaged...

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HOW DO THE RMD RULES WORK WHEN A PENSION PLAN LUMP SUM IS PAID?

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst In the May 17, 2021 Slott Report, we discussed the rules governing required minimum distributions (RMDs) from defined benefit (DB) plans, also known as “pension plans.” We said that DB plan payments usually have no problem satisfying the RMD...

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CAN EDBS SPLIT INHERITED IRAS?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A surviving spouse has a number of options regarding how to deal with IRAs inherited from his or her deceased spouse. The age of both the deceased and surviving spouse will most often dictate the decision as to how to proceed....

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HOW YOU CAN REDUCE YOUR RMD

Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education When you contribute to a traditional IRA you make a deal with Uncle Sam. You can get a tax deduction and tax deferral on any earnings in your IRA. However, eventually the government is going to want its share and will...

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5 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT THE AGE-55 RULE

Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The pandemic has upended the workplace and caused many people to rethink their career path. For some older workers this may mean considering early retirement. For those workers, access to retirement savings can be...

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CLARIFYING THE ROLLOVER/TRANSFERS RULES WHEN AN RMD IS DUE

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport In the June 16, 2021 Slott Report, we discussed how an in-service distribution made in the year of separation from service can inadvertently create an excess IRA contribution if that distribution is...

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RMDS, THE STILL-WORKING EXCEPTION, AND THE BEST-LAID PLANS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A required minimum distribution (RMD) from a 401(k) (or other employer plan) must be taken prior to rolling remaining plan dollars to an IRA. An RMD cannot be rolled over, so it must be withdrawn before any rollover is completed....

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IRS RECTIFIES MISTAKEN INTERPRETATION OF 10-YEAR PAYOUT RULE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst On April 14, we reported that the IRS was apparently interpreting the SECURE Act's 10-year payout rule in a surprising way – to require annual required minimum distributions (RMDs). Now, the IRS has made it clear (without actually saying...

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10-YEAR RULE: BENEFICIARY PLANNING “LOOPHOLE” CLOSED

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With the passage of the SECURE Act, once common IRA beneficiary planning strategies have been upended. For example, no longer can just anyone stretch payments on an inherited IRA. You must qualify as an “eligible designated...

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ROTH CONVERSIONS & 401(K) RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi! I attended the February 2021 IRA seminar and had a question re: Roth conversions.  The seminar discussed rolling over assets held in a company plan into a Roth IRA. I’m dealing with a client that wants to roll over a lump...

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SECURE ACT REGULATIONS EXPECTED “SOON”

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education It has been well over a year since the SECURE Act became a reality, transforming the rules for inherited IRAs and doing away with the stretch IRA for most beneficiaries. While the SECURE Act statute gave us...

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HOW THE ONCE-PER-YEAR ROLLOVER RULE IS MISUNDERSTOOD

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst One of the cardinal sins you can commit with an IRA rollover is to run afoul of the IRS “once-per-year” rollover rule. Violating that rule triggers a taxable distribution and the 10% early distribution penalty if you are under age 59 ½....

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EXCESS IRA CONTRIBUTIONS – GAMING THE SYSTEM?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst An IRA owner can contribute only so much to a Traditional and/or Roth IRA annually. The IRA owner must also have earned income. The contribution limit for 2021 is $6,000, with a catch-up provision of another $1,000 for those age 50...

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SPECIAL RULES FOR SPOUSE IRA BENEFICIARIES

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The SECURE Act may have upended the rules for inherited IRAs, but the rules for spouse beneficiaries remain as advantageous as ever. In fact, naming a spouse as an IRA beneficiary is a better option than ever...

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HOW DO RMDS WORK IN DB PLANS?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Rules governing defined benefit (DB) plans are typically more complicated than defined contribution (DC) plan rules. But required minimum distributions (RMDs) are one area where the DB plan requirements are easier to understand. If you’re...

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NO IRA CONTRIBUTIONS AFTER DEATH

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we inch toward the extended 2020 tax deadline of May 17, many filers are still laboring over their returns. Some are completing the final return for a loved one lost in what was a brutal year. As is human nature, most taxpayers...

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ARE YOU READY FOR THE SON OF SECURE?

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education On May 5, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021. According to lawmakers, the proposal is designed to pick up where the SECURE Act of 2019 left off and...

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THE ROTH CONVERSION CONVERSATION: A MUST-HAVE!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When visiting the doctor, does he or she ask foundational questions to help determine your medical condition? Of course. “How are you feeling?” “Are you a smoker?” “What hurts?” Does the doctor take some basic measurements –...

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2020 IRA CONTRIBUTION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MAY 17

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Good news for retirement savers! There is more time to make your 2020 IRA contribution. On March 17, 2020, the IRS extended the 2020 federal income tax-filing deadline to May 17, 2021. The extension also extends...

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THE IRS MAY BE COMING AFTER YOUR SOLO 401(K) PLAN

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst If you sponsor a solo 401(k) plan, beware! The IRS recently announced that it is targeting several employer plan areas for stepped-up auditing. One of those areas is solo 401(k) plans. The fact that solo plans made the list is a signal...

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ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AND IRA DEDUCTIBILITY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst This question (or a derivation of it) has been popular as of late: “I only participated in my 401(k) for a couple of months in 2020 before I was laid off. Does that still make me a ‘covered’ employee, and can I contribute to my...

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MAKING A 2020 ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The IRS has delayed the deadline for filing federal income taxes until May 17, 2021. This also extends the deadline for making a 2020 Roth IRA contribution. A Roth IRA offers the promise of tax-free withdrawals in...

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IRA RUMORS AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst With all the recent changes to IRAs under the SECURE Act [i.e., required minimum distribution (RMD) age raised to 72, new rules for beneficiaries, etc.], combined with the CARES Act waiver of RMDs last year, it comes as no surprise...

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WHO MUST TAKE THE YEAR-OF-DEATH RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Required minimum distributions (RMDs) were waived for 2020 but they are back now for 2021. This includes the RMD for the year of death of the IRA owner. The rules for this RMD can be tricky. One question that comes...

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5 QUESTIONS WITH GEORGE NICHOLS OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE

George Nichols III is the 10th President and Chief Executive Officer in The American College of Financial Services’ storied history. He continues to take motivation from founder Solomon Huebner’s pioneering vision in 1927, while empowering The College to usher in the...

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EIGHT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DC AND DB PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Fewer and fewer workers are participating in defined benefit pension (DB) plans these days. The high cost of maintaining those plans has led many employers to terminate existing plans and dissuaded many others from setting up new plans in...

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HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR 2021 RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The CARES Act waived required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020, but they are back for 2021. The return of RMDs for this year has raised questions about how these distributions should be calculated. Here is...

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CAN I STILL OPEN UP A NEW SOLO 401(K) FOR 2020?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst We’ve been getting a number of questions lately about whether it’s too late to set up a new solo 401(k) plan for 2020. The answer is “sort of.” Business owners with no employees (other than a spouse) can contribute to a solo 401(k) plan....

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HOUSE RULES

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport Casinos have house rules. These rules dictate what patrons can and cannot do. They are often written down, posted, and there is no debating the validity of said guidelines. House rules govern...

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DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS RETIREMENT SAVINGS TAX BREAK

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Follow Us on Twitter: @theslottreport For those just starting out, saving for retirement can be challenging. For young workers, paying the rent and buying the week’s groceries may take priority and there is only so...

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RETIREMENT ACCOUNT ALPHABET SOUP

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst For an area as highly regulated as IRAs and company plans, it’s not surprising that there’s a ton of abbreviated terms to keep track of. Here’s 18 common ones that you should know: CARES Act. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic...

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ROTH IRA CONTRIBUTIONS AND YOUR TAX RETURN

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Have you contributed to a Roth IRA for 2020? If you have not, you still have some time. The deadline for making a prior year contribution is the tax-filing deadline, not including any extensions you might have. For...

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WHEN A “REVERSE ROLLOVER” MAKES SENSE

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst When we think of rollovers, we normally think of moving funds from a 401(k) (or other company plan) to an IRA. But it sometimes makes sense to consider a “reverse rollover” – from an IRA to a 401(k). Unfortunately, although 401(k) plans...

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THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT PLANNING TO CONFISCATE YOUR IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education Whenever there is a new administration there is a lot of uncertainty about what the change will mean for retirement accounts. In 2021, this change is happening in the middle of a pandemic that has upended the lives...

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RMDS AND ROLLOVERS – A DANGEROUS BLEND

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst It is early 2021 and two ingredients mix again: retirement money in motion, and required minimum distributions (RMDs). This may not appear to be a dangerous concoction, but when improperly combined, the results can be a bitter...

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3 TIPS TO AVOID TAX PROBLEMS WITH YOUR SEP

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) is a popular choice for many small employers. Although these plans are in fact designed to be less complex than other types of retirement plans, there are many ways to go wrong...

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FOUR UNEXPLAINED TAX CODE MYSTERIES

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The Internal Revenue Code is over 4,000 pages of often unintelligible tax jargon. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the law contains more than its share of baffling and inconsistent provisions. Here are four examples pertaining to...

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“COMPENSATION” FOR IRA ELIGIBILITY

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Here we go again…barreling headlong into another tax season. This year will be like no other. With all the crazy that was 2020, many tax filers will discover some new and interesting items on their tax returns. For example – did...

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ROLLING OVER A 2020 DISTRIBUTION IN 2021

By Sarah Brenner, JD Director of Retirement Education The rules for rolling over IRA distributions can be complicated at any time of the year. They are especially challenging at the end of the calendar year. Surprisingly, sometimes IRA owners have doubts as to whether...

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AFTER CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DISTRIBUTIONS – NOW WHAT?

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) are no more. Millions of Americans took advantage of the opportunity to make penalty-free withdrawals from their IRAs and 401(k) plans in 2020. But unless Congress resurrects them, CRDs are no...

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RECHARACTERIZING AN IRA CONTRIBUTION – STILL IN THE TOOLBOX!

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we enter tax season and consider last year’s transactions, it bears repeating: Roth IRA contributions can be recharacterized, Roth conversions cannot. A Roth IRA contribution can be recharacterized (changed) to a Traditional IRA...

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