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IRAs


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Key Rules for Non-Spouse Beneficiaries
"It is very important to check the terms of the agreement that governs the inherited retirement account to determine if the beneficiary is subject to the five-year rule or the life expectancy rule. In some cases, the beneficiary might be required to make an election by certain deadlines in order to be subject to the rule that he wants to use." (Appleby Retirement Dictionary)
Leaving an IRA to Charity
"[O]pening an inherited IRA is not necessarily easy for a charity.... [C]onsider opening a donor-advised fund run by a major financial institution, community foundation, or umbrella charity.... [Another approach is to leave all] assets including the IRA to [a personal] trust. The trust instrument states what percentage of the total trust each beneficiary is to receive and specifies that the IRA shall be used 'first' to fund the charities' shares." (Morningstar Advisor)
The Trusteed IRA vs. Using a Trust as IRA Beneficiary
"[A] trusteed IRA really doesn't provide any benefits that can't already be accomplished with a (separate) trust as beneficiary. And in fact, having a standalone trust drafted to be the beneficiary of a retirement account can provide even more flexibility, or more robust spendthrift and asset protection for future beneficiaries." (Nerd's Eye View)
So You're the New Owner of an Existing Inherited IRA
"The IRS has some complicated rules for titling inherited IRAs when there are successor beneficiaries.... The RMD calculation cannot be reset when a successor beneficiary inherits an inherited IRA.... A beneficiary can combine inherited IRA accounts that are inherited from the same individual as long as the RMDs are calculated using the same life expectancy factor." (Slott Report)
Tax Traps of Non-Conventional IRA Investments
"Advisers working with clients who wish to make non-conventional IRA investments must understand when a client might be entering a tax trap. They should know the answer to the question: When does a transaction become an unintended distribution because the IRA owner has too much control over the funds?" (Financial Planning)
Newborns Would Save $2.2 Million for Retirement with This Idea
"Any adult would be permitted to make tax-deductible contributions to any child's account, whether family, friend or stranger. Each minor would be able to receive a maximum $1,000 yearly, but contributors could spread a greater amount across multiple accounts. [The] idea also calls for the Child IRA converting to a traditional one at age 19, subject to current law. This means that additional contributions -- 2017's limit is $5,500 for people under age 50 -- would lead to even higher account balances in retirement." (CNBC)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Chief Counsel Memo 2017-18: Rollover of IRA Distributions from Failed Financial Institution (PDF)
"[An] IRA distribution made from a failed financial institution by the FDIC as receiver is disregarded for purposes of applying the one-rollover-per-year limitation, provided: [1] neither the failed financial institution nor the depositor initiated the distribution, and [2] no financial institution has assumed the IRAs of the failed financial institution." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Opinion] OregonSaves will Force Large Employers to Redirect Costs
"[ERIC] is disappointed that Oregon lawmakers ignored the Joint Resolution of Disapproval rescinding federal rulemaking that allowed states to create mandatory retirement plans and next week will launch a pilot of OregonSaves, a program that will eventually reach beyond what the federal law allows by imposing a compliance burden on employers who voluntarily provide a retirement plan to their employees." (The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC])
Military Benefit Allows Widows to Put $500K Into Roth IRA at One Time
"Under the Heroes Earning Assistance and Relief Tax Act, which was introduced under President George W. Bush, the entirety of a service member's $400,000 life insurance policy, plus an additional $100,000 for a combat-related fatality, can be rolled directly into a Roth. 'If every potential penny went in, a survivor could contribute $500,000 into a Roth,' [one advisor] said. 'That means, for a young widow, their retirement could be set. But there is obviously some financial advice needed.' " (InvestmentNews)
How Do Distributions from Retirement Accounts Respond to Early Withdrawal Penalties?
"Crossing the age 59-1/2 threshold leads to a $1,600 increase in annual distributions from IRAs. People with birthdays that result in fewer months of penalty-free withdrawal in the calendar year in which they turn 59-1/2 have a much smaller increase in annual distributions between the years in which they turn 58-1/2 and 59-1/2. In contrast, those who turn 59-1/2 early in the calendar year see much sharper increases." (TIAA Institute)
Retirement Assets Total $26.1 Trillion in First Quarter 2017
"Assets in [IRAs] totaled $8.2 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 4.1 percent from the end of the fourth quarter of 2016. [DC] plan assets were $7.3 trillion at the end of the first quarter, up 3.7 percent from year-end 2016. Government [DB] plans ... held $5.5 trillion in assets as of the end of March, a 2.1 percent increase from the end of December. Private-sector DB plans held $3.0 trillion in assets at the end of the first quarter of 2017, and annuity reserves outside of retirement accounts accounted for another $2.1 trillion." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
The IRA Investor Profile: Roth IRA Investors' Activity, 2007-2015 (PDF)
96 pages. "Forty-eight percent of consistent Roth IRA investors aged 26 or older in 2015 contributed to their Roth IRAs between tax year 2008 and tax year 2015, and about 80 percent contributed in multiple years.... Withdrawal rates rose slightly between 2008 and 2015, but still only a very small fraction of Roth IRA investors took money out of their Roth IRAs." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
The IRA Investor Profile: Traditional IRA Investors' Activity, 2007-2015 (PDF)
88 pages. "Although relatively few traditional IRA investors contribute to their traditional IRAs in any given year, those that do contribute tend to do so in multiple years; this tendency persisted even from 2008 to 2015. Withdrawal rates rose slightly between 2008 and 2015, but still only a small fraction of younger traditional IRA investors took money out of their traditional IRAs." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
DOL Fiduciary Rule to Take Effect -- At Least for Now
"A private fund manager will not be a fiduciary when it markets its fund to a plan committee that the fund manager reasonably believes holds or has under management and control total assets in excess of $50 million ... [T]he private fund manager [must] know or reasonably believe that: (a) the plan committee is capable of evaluating investment risks independently, both in general and with regard to the private fund's investment program and strategies; and (b) that the plan committee is a fiduciary with respect to the transaction and is exercising independent judgment in evaluating the transaction." (Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP)
The 99% Rule for Spousal Beneficiaries of Retirement Accounts
"When a spouse chooses to remain a beneficiary of an IRA, they are able to take penalty-free distributions from the account at any age and at any time.... The second option for a spouse beneficiary, and one available only to a spouse beneficiary is to ... [take] a distribution from their deceased spouse's IRA or a beneficiary IRA they inherited from the spouse and [move] the funds, either directly, or indirectly within 60 days, to their own IRA.... Once the funds are deposited into their own IRA, they are treated as if they were always in the account. There is no way, at this point, for the surviving spouse to change their mind and be treated as a beneficiary." (Slott Report)
Why Wait to Retire to Take Control of Your 401(k)?
"If you're 59-1/2 years old and still working, you have the ability to roll over money from your 401(k) into an IRA.... There are four reasons why you should consider an in-service rollover: [1] You are in control of your money.... [2] An IRA gives you more investment options to choose from.... [3] There are more safe havens for your money in an IRA.... [4] You can automatically set up your account as a multigenerational IRA (or 'stretch IRA')." (Chad Slagle, via Kiplinger)
Could a Switch to Roth Be Good for Retirement Security?
"[T]he break-even point in terms of where the tax advantages of Roth at the back end in retirement largely equal out the advantages of deferral at the front end lies at a 9.1% reduction in contributions. Beyond that point, the Roth option (and the assumed reduction in retirement savings) worsens the retirement savings shortfall -- though even assuming a 25% reduction, the shortfall deepens by a mere 2.6%." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA])
Most Plan Participants Who Roll Over DC Assets into IRA Seek Advice
"8 in 10 [DC] plan participants who roll their assets into an [IRA] speak to someone before performing the transaction.... DC plan participants roll over more than $400 billion annually.... The top reasons plan participants gave for rolling over their DC assets into an IRA are: [1] To gain more control over their assets; [2] Access better investment options to achieve better returns; and [3] To consolidate their portfolio." (LIMRA Secured Retirement Institute)
[Opinion] State IRA Plans Are Deeply Flawed
"There's no sense in addressing a national issue with state-by-state solutions.... State IRAs also carry unavoidable design defects.... State IRAs are inferior to 401(k)s.... Writing 50 rulebooks to do one book's work makes little sense. Also, the U.S. retirement system needs less fragmentation and more portability, not the reverse. But ignoring the problem simply won't do." (John Rekenthaler, in Morningstar Advisor)
[Guidance Overview] Oregon Board Adopts Final Rules to Implement Retirement Savings Program
"Oregon employers play a limited role under OregonSaves, consisting of: [1] collecting contributions and remitting those amounts to the Program Administrator; [2] providing information to the Program Administrator; [3] retaining notice of any employee elections or election changes for no less than three years; [4] recording participating employees' elections in their payroll system in a manner enabling accurate deductions from employee's paychecks; and [5] making clear that the employer's involvement in the program is limited to collecting contributions and remitting them to the Program Administrator." (Littler)
Senate Repeals Safe Harbors for State-Run IRA Programs
"The Senate narrowly approved a resolution Wednesday to rescind federal safe harbors for states to set up private-sector retirement programs for small businesses.... It mirrors a resolution passed by the House on Feb. 15. A similar resolution that rescinded safe harbors for cities and other large political subdivisions was passed by both chambers and signed on April 13 by President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign the state version shortly." (Pensions & Investments)
[Guidance Overview] Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 45
"Financial Institutions (such as broker-dealers and IRA firms) should, between now and June 9, focus on the fiduciary processes that will be implemented by the home offices ... In a sense, the Financial Institutions will be co-fiduciaries with the advisers and, therefore, share responsibility for the recommendations that are made to the qualified accounts. As a result, Financial Institutions need to have protective policies, procedures and practices in place." (FredReish.com)
Why the Fiduciary Rule Applies to IRAs but Not Non-ERISA 403(b)s
"IRAs are subject to the Tax Code; and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code address prohibited transactions between IRAs an 'disqualified persons' including fiduciaries. The section then goes on to define to define a fiduciary to include any person designated as a fiduciary under ERISA. It is this basis that the DOL is using to affirm that its definition of what constitutes a fiduciary applies to Section 4975 of the Code as well." (PLANSPONSOR)
Understanding the Dynamics of Rollovers, Roll-Ins, and IRA Transfers
"Unlike rollover transactions, more roll-in participants discuss their decisions with their employers than with advisors, DC plan provider call centers, or others. Although the most common method of transferring from one IRA to another is by means of a self-directed online transaction, this method is strongly associated with younger owners; older owners typically have an advisor handle the transaction." (LIMRA)
[Guidance Overview] Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 44
"For the rest of this year -- the 'transition period'-- most firms will use the Best Interest Contract Exemption.... Transition BICE requires that the entity and the adviser only comply with the Impartial Conduct Standards (ICS) [which] has 3 components: the best interest standard of care, only reasonable compensation, and no materially misleading statements. In effect the best interest standard of care brings the ERISA prudent man rule and duty of loyalty to IRAs. As a result, advisers and their supervisory entities need to educate themselves on the requirements of a prudent process with a duty of loyalty to the IRA owner." (FredReish.com)
Who Contributes to Individual Retirement Accounts?
"Today, IRAs hold nearly half of all private retirement assets, but most of these funds are rollovers from 401(k)s, rather than contributions. The 14 percent of households who do contribute to IRAs include: higher-income dual-earners who also save in a 401(k); moderate-income singles or one-earner couples, often with a 401(k); and higher-income entrepreneurs with no current 401(k)." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)
How Should You Invest Your Roth IRA?
"Use it as an emergency fund.... Save for a short term goal.... Choose investments that complement your other retirement accounts.... Choose a more conservative mix for early retirement.... Choose more aggressive investments for long term tax-free growth.... Keep it simple." (Financial Finesse)
[Opinion] Appleby Retirement Consulting Comment Letter to IRS on Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information (PDF)
"[M]any IRA custodians refuse to report indirect Roth IRA conversions in Box 3 ... of Form 5498, and instead, report such amounts as rollover contributions in Box 2 ... IRA custodians are hesitant to apply the self-certification procedure to indirect Roth IRA conversions that miss the 60- day deadline. Even for those that are inclined to apply the self-certification procedure to indirect Roth IRA conversions that miss the 60-day deadline, they are unsure of whether such amounts should be reported in Boxes 13a, 13b and 13c." (Appleby Retirement Consulting, Inc.)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Publication 590-B: Distributions from IRAs (PDF)
60 pages, for use in preparing 2016 returns. "You can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period regardless of the number of IRAs you own. However, you can continue to make unlimited trustee-to-trustee transfers between IRAs because it is not considered a rollover.... If an RMD is required from your IRA, the trustee, custodian, or issuer that held the IRA at the end of the preceding year must either report the amount of the RMD to you, or offer to calculate it for you.... For purposes of the Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT), net investment income does not include distributions from a qualified retirement plan ... However, these distributions are taken into account when determining the modified adjusted gross income threshold." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Substance Over Form May No Longer Prevail in the Sixth Circuit (PDF)
"[T]he Sixth Circuit outright rejected the substance-over-form doctrine, and held that because Roth IRAs are able to hold DISC stock, and that by Congressional design, DISCs are all form and no substance, neither it nor the IRS has the authority to undo this transaction just because the end goal was intended to be, and resulted in, a reduction in taxes.... Outside of the Sixth Circuit, companies should tread very lightly in this area. Everyone should anticipate Congressional action or possibly IRS appeal to the Supreme Court[.]" [Summa Holdings, Inc. v. Comm'r, No. 16-1712 (6th Cir. Feb. 16, 2017)] (Groom Law Group)
Are IRAs the Future of Lifetime Income and Even Retirement Security?
"There is really quite bit of arrogance in the retirement plan marketplace, especially when it comes to dealing with IRAs. Most of us tend to actively ignore them ... The high degree of technical skill needed to maintain plans seems to engender this attitude. But it also has fostered a great deal of resistance to innovation.... IRAs, for whatever reason, are stealthily changing the retirement future. When you look closely at their structures, they can be designed to be incredibly flexible[.]" (Business of Benefits)
New Sixth Circuit Decision Blesses Aggressive Tax Planning with Roth IRA
"In view of the Sixth Circuit's decision, it would appear that other tax-advantaged companies also could be owned through Roth IRAs.... Another tax-advantaged vehicle that might be an attractive candidate for ownership by a Roth IRA is a foreign corporation that is not subject to significant tax in its home country or in the United States.... [A] taxpayer still must establish a legitimate business purpose for forming the tax advantaged vehicle." [Summa Holdings, Inc. v. Comm'r, No. 16-1712 (6th Cir. Feb. 16, 2017)] (Foley & Lardner LLP)
[Opinion] Many IRA Contracts Include Impartial Conduct Standards as an 'Implied Term'
"[T]he absence of a express term in the contract that the Impartial Conduct Standards are to be adhered to does not means that the parties to the contract cannot enforce the Impartial Conduct Standards. Rather, the Impartial Conduct Standards become implied terms of every new IRA account agreement (or IRA annuity contract) entered into on or after June 9, 2017, and become applicable to existing IRA account agreements when transactions are undertaken that remove the arrangement from grandfathered status." (Ron A. Rhoades, JD, CFP)
How to Invest in Private Equity with a Self-Directed IRA
"[1] Get familiar with the self-directed IRA guidelines.... [2] Understand the risks associated with private equity investments.... [3] Compare the costs to any potential upside of investing in private equity." (U.S. News & World Report)
Rollover Roulette: Rollover, Direct Rollover, Direct Payment, Direct Transfer or Transfer (Part 2: Potential Horrible Consequences)
"The only way that a beneficiary may move inherited eligible retirement plan monies to an inherited IRA is through a 'direct trustee-to-trustee transfer.' ... A 'direct rollover' is available only to plan participants (and their surviving spouses) and requires that the monies be paid directly to the plan participant's new employer's eligible retirement plan or IRA. A 'direct rollover' is not subject to the 60-day rule.... An IRA owner can also run into trouble if he or she confuses a 'rollover' with a 'transfer' and, as a result, does more than one rollover between IRAs in a 12-month period." (Morgan Lewis)
Rollover Roulette: Rollover, Direct Rollover, Direct Payment, Direct Transfer, or Transfer (Part 1: The Terminology)
"Using one 'rollover' term when you really mean another can result in horrible federal income tax consequences to a plan participant or IRA owner and ... Plan sponsors, plan administrators, human resources personnel, trustees, custodians, investment advisors, and anyone else who deals with retirement plans and IRAs need to be careful with the words used in plan and IRA materials (particularly distribution forms, summary plan descriptions, and IRA disclosure statements) and when these terms come up in conversations with plan participants or IRA owners." (Morgan Lewis)
Roth IRA Recharacterization: Things You Need to Know at Tax Time
"A recharacterization of a 2016 Roth IRA conversion can be done up to October 16th, 2017 even if you have already filed your 2016 income tax return.... You can do either full or partial recharacterizations depending on your tax situation and the investment.... A recharacterization undoes the Roth IRA conversion and wipes out the income tax due on the conversion. The amount converted and later recharacterized is treated as though it never left the IRA." (Slott Report)
Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA: No, the Roth Isn't No-Brainer
"A recent NerdWallet study concluded that most people are likely to come away with more money after taxes in retirement if they contribute the maximum $5,500 a year to a Roth IRA rather than putting that same amount into a traditional IRA. But before you start rushing to a Roth, you need to understand why even though Roths do come out ahead in many cases, they can also fall behind in many others." (Money)
Want to Invest in Art, Gems and Antiques? Why It's a Bad Idea to Put Exotic Investments in Your IRA
"According to the GAO, real estate, private equity and hedge funds are the most commonly held unconventional-asset type in IRAs, but investors also purchased limited liability companies, limited partnerships, precious metals ... promissory notes, church bonds and private placements. In the main, those assets are quite complex to buy, to value, and, come required minimum distribution (RMD) time, to distribute.... [D]oes it ever make sense to invest in unconventional assets in your IRA? For most investors, the answer is no." (Fidelity)
Lack of Understanding Linked to Low IRA Ownership
"28 percent of Americans who don't own an individual retirement account (IRA) say they don't know enough about them to invest in one. Another 17 percent indicate that IRAs are too complicated ... People who do have IRAs listed three factors as the biggest help getting started: [1] personal support from a financial advisor (40 percent), [2] general educational information about IRAs (25 percent), and [3] a clear and simple process to open an IRA (10 percent)." (TIAA)
Why Your Small Business Should Consider Implementing a Retirement Plan
"According to the Freelancers Union, a non-profit organization providing advocacy and health insurance to its members, there are an estimated 54 million independent workers. While millennials get credited for being the driving force of entrepreneurship, about half of new businesses are started by Baby Boomers. Regardless of their generation, 60 percent of independent contractors and small business owners report not saving enough for their retirement." (Butterfield Schechter LLP)
[Guidance Overview] Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 39
"Even though the DOL fiduciary rule is being delayed, other regulators have indicated their interests in protecting participants from inappropriate recommendations to take plan distributions and roll over to IRAs.... The regulators appear to be harmonizing around the type of analysis and investigation required to make a suitable or prudent recommendation." (FredReish.com)
[Guidance Overview] Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 38
"Combining the language in the Risk Alert with the language in the footnote, the [SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE)] is saying that recommendations to participants to take distributions from plans ... and rolling over to an IRA ... will be scrutinized. It also suggests that the OCIE favorably views FINRA's analysis in Regulatory Notice 13-45." (FredReish.com)
Sixth Circuit Rejects IRS Claim that Taxpayers Aren't Allowed to Avoid Roth IRA Limits
"The Court recognized that the petitioners' complicated series of transactions were essentially a strategy for funneling money into Roth IRAs without triggering the contribution limits but that the taxpayers had fully complied with the text of the tax laws in doing so.... The Court rejected the Commissioner's attempt to reclassify the transactions under the substance-over-form doctrine and balked at the Commissioner's contention that when taxpayers are presented with alternative methods of structuring a transaction, the taxpayer must choose that which results in higher tax liability." [Summa Holdings, Inc. v. Comm'r, No. 16-1712 (6th Cir. Feb. 16, 2017)] (Squire Patton Boggs)
Sixth Circuit Overturns Tax Court Decision on Abusive DISC Commissions to Roth IRA
"Contrary to the Tax Court, the Sixth Circuit determined that the IRS overstepped its bounds applying a substance over form argument to claim a tax avoidance transaction when Congress created both domestic international sales corporations (DISCs) and Roth IRAs with the purpose of providing taxpayers the opportunity to avoid tax, provided the taxpayers followed the form of structures of the DISC and Roth IRA." [Summa Holdings Inc. v. Commissioner, No. 16-1712 (6th Cir. Feb. 16, 2017)] (RSM US)
Planning to Keep Your 401(k)? Be Careful When You Reach Age 70-1/2
"With IRAs, RMDs must be calculated separately for each account, but the amounts can then be added together and distributed by any one of the IRAs.... In the case of an employer-sponsored plan such as a 401(k), the RMD must be calculated separately and distributed separately from each plan.... Employer-sponsored Roth accounts are subject to RMDs.... If you're still contributing to your employer-sponsored plan, you may be able to delay taking RMDs." (Vanguard)
IRA Annuities: Beware of Death Benefit Taxation
"When an immediate annuity is purchased inside an IRA, the contract and the account step out of the regular minimum distribution rules ... Instead, the IRA becomes subject to the special separate RMD regime that applies to defined benefit pension plans and 'annuitized' defined contribution plans." (Morningstar Advisor)
Text of District Court Opinion Denying Summary Judgment for Plaintiffs Challenging DOL Fiduciary Rule (PDF)
81 pages. "The fiduciary rule does not exceed the DOL's authority ... DOL did not exceed its statutory authority to grant conditional exemptions ... BICE and PTE 84-24 do not create a private right of action ... Neither the new rules nor the rulemaking violate the APA ... BICE meets the prohibited transaction rules exemptive requirements ... Waiver applies and the rules do not violate the First Amendment ... The Exemptions' contractual provisions do not violate the FAA." [Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. v. DOL, No. 16-1476 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 8, 2017)] (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas)
Is This the End of the Fiduciary Rule -- and Will It Matter?
"The language in the [Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Labor] suggests that the rule will be history.... The [DOL] can't just issue a replacement rule.... Litigation may reach a standstill.... Financial organizations will have to decide whether they will adhere to a fiduciary standard.... Plan sponsors and plan committee members have it easier.... The real losers here are the IRA holders." (PenChecks)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Publication 560: Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans) for Use in Preparing 2016 Returns (PDF)
28 pages; Jan. 26, 2017. "What's New: Compensation limits for 2016 and 2017.... Elective deferral limit for 2016 and 2017.... Defined contribution limit for 2016 and 2017.... SIMPLE plan salary reduction contribution limit for 2016 and 2017.... Catch-up contribution limit for 2016 and 2017.... Mid-year changes to safe harbor plans and notices.... Tax relief for victims of Hurricane Matthew." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Guidance Overview] Second Fiduciary FAQs Package Issued in Final Days Before DOL Transition
"FAQ II deals specifically with the final regulations. Unfortunately, FAQ II did not answer all of the questions posed by industry practitioners. For example, absent was clarification of how the DOL views its conflict-of-interest guidance in the context of employer-sponsored retirement plans that employ IRAs as their investment vehicles. This includes simplified employee pension (SEP) plans and savings incentive match plan for employees of small employers (SIMPLE) plans. Nonetheless, FAQ II does provide many hoped-for clarifications." (Ascensus)
IRA Balances, Contributions, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation Longitudinal Results 2010-2014: The EBRI IRA Database (PDF)
32 pages. "While the cross-sectional overall average account balance increased 38.9 percent from 2010 to 2014, the increase for those IRA owners who continuously owned IRAs from 2010-2014 was 45.8 percent.... Among Traditional IRA owners, 87.6 percent did not contribute to the IRA in any year, while 2.1 percent contributed in all five years. In contrast, 61.5 percent of Roth IRA owners did not contribute in any year and 10.4 percent contributed in all five years.... Among consistent account owners, the percentage of individuals taking a withdrawal from a Traditional or Roth IRA rose from 12.9 percent in 2010, to 15.4 percent in 2011, to 16.7 percent in 2012, to 18.5 percent in 2013, and to 19.6 percent in 2014." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])
The Role of IRAs in U.S. Households' Saving for Retirement, 2016 (PDF)
40 pages. "More than one-third of US households owned IRAs in 2016.... Rollovers from employer-sponsored retirement plans have fueled the growth in IRAs.... Although most US households were eligible to make IRA contributions, few did so.... IRA withdrawals were infrequent and mostly retirement related." [Also see 24-page Appendix, which includes supplemental data tables.] (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
Small Business Views on Retirement Savings Plans
"Three-quarters of business owners who do not offer a plan said that under current circumstances, they would be no more likely to offer one in the next two years than they are now. Key changes that could lead employers to offer a plan include greater profitability, financial incentives, and increased demand from employees.... Support for an auto-IRA initiative proved highest if the plan would be sponsored by an insurance or mutual fund company; it dropped if a state or federal government ran the program." (The Pew Charitable Trusts)
Retirement Plans Comparison Table for Small Businesses, 2017 Plan Year
"This table provides a comparison of the features and benefits that apply to retirement plans that can be sponsored/adopted by small business owners. Focus is on the areas that are important to the business owner, so as to help ensure that the plan that is chosen is the plan that is most suitable for the business. Plans covered: SEP IRAs; SIMPLE IRAs; 401(k)s; Solo 401(k) / Individual-K; Profit Sharing; Money Purchase Pension; Defined Benefit Pension." (Appleby Retirement Dictionary)
[Guidance Overview] Breaking Down the Three Key Elements of the DOL Fiduciary Rule
"All three elements described in [ERISA] section 3(21)(A)(ii) -- [1] a fiduciary [2] that renders (non-discretionary) investment advice [3] for compensation -- must be present in order for the Rule to apply to an advisor communicating with a plan participant or an IRA owner.... [The Rule] broadens the definition of 'investment advice.' More precisely, 'retirement investment advice' that's rendered to [1] participants in ERISA plans such as 401(k) plans, profit-sharing plans, money purchase pension plans, and defined benefit plans, as well as [2] owners of IRAs and participants in non-ERISA plans. Note that the Rule does not pertain to investment advice rendered to those investing in taxable accounts and non-retirement accounts. That retail environment remains within the purview of the SEC." (Morningstar Advisor)
[Guidance Overview] Inherited IRAs: What Owners and Beneficiaries Need to Know
"Since first developed more than 40 years ago, [IRAs] have become a popular retirement savings vehicle for generations of investors. As time marches on, a new generation of IRA investors is emerging -- one that has inherited, or will inherit an IRA from a parent, spouse or other person. FINRA is issuing this alert to inform brokerage account holders, family members and other beneficiaries about inherited IRAs. We also provide tips for making the IRA inheritance process as efficient and trouble-free as possible." (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA])
[Guidance Overview] Text of IRS Publication 590-B: Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for Use in Preparing 2016 Returns (PDF)
60 pages. "This publication discusses traditional and Roth IRAs. It explains the rules for: Handling an inherited IRA, and Receiving distributions (making withdrawals) from an IRA. It also explains the penalties and additional taxes that apply when the rules are not followed. To assist you in complying with the tax rules for IRAs, this publication contains worksheets, sample forms, and tables, which can be found throughout the publication and in the appendices at the back of the publication." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Why the New Fiduciary Rule Spells Opportunity for RIAs
"When the new rule takes effect next April, the DOL will extend to IRAs the kind of best interest protections that have long governed 401(k)s and other workplace-sponsored retirement plans.... These changes, which come as tens of millions of retiring baby boomers face the decision of what they will do with their retirement plan nest eggs, could result in some important benefits for RIAs.... Recent regulatory changes favor RIAs.... RIAs can attract a greater share of 401(k) plan business.... RIAs can capture more IRA rollovers from 401(k) clients.... Advisers can gain other business from plan participants.... Deeper relationships create a competitive advantage." (Financial Planning)
[Guidance Overview] Text of 2016 IRS Instructions for Form 8606: Nondeductible IRAs (PDF)
13 pages; dated Nov. 17, 2016, published online Dec. 22, 2016. "What's New: Modified AGI limit for Roth IRA contributions increased.... Due date for contributions. Because April 15, 2017, falls on a Saturday, and Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, is observed on Monday, April 17, 2017, the due date for making contributions for 2016 to your IRA is April 18, 2017, even if you don't live in the District of Columbia." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])

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