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IRAs


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Can I Deduct My IRA Contribution When Covered Under My Employer's Retirement Plan?
"You are eligible to take full deduction for your Traditional IRA contribution if you are not an active participant, or married to an active participant.... [T]he rules that define who is an active participant vary among the types of employer sponsored plans, and may depend on when the contributions are made to the participant's account (under the employer sponsored plan)." (Appleby Retirement Dictionary)
Is a Roth IRA Conversion Right for You?
"You must pay income taxes on any converted funds in the year of the conversion, but there are three scenarios in which that might be a good choice. [1] You believe your tax bracket will be higher in retirement ... [2] You're far from retirement ... [3] You want to maximize your estate for your heirs[.]" (Charles Schwab)
Tax Reform and Your IRA: Five Things You Need to Know
"[1] Recharacterization of Roth IRA conversions is gone.... [2] Rothification is not ready for prime time....yet.... [3] Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) are more valuable than ever.... [4] Medical expense exception to the 10% penalty is expanded.... [5] Long live the stretch IRA." (Slott Report)
[Official Guidance] IRS FAQs on Recharacterization of Roth Rollovers and Conversions
"A Roth IRA conversion made in 2017 may be recharacterized as a contribution to a traditional IRA if the recharacterization is made by October 15, 2018. A Roth IRA conversion made on or after January 1, 2018, cannot be recharacterized." [Updated Jan. 18, 2018 to clarify effective date of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.] (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
[Guidance Overview] U.S. Tax Reform Impacts Roth IRA Conversions
"Some have questioned whether the new legislation permits Roth IRA conversion contributions made in 2017 to be recharacterized in 2018, given the December 31, 2017 effective date of the change.... The IRS has apparently informally stated that Roth IRA conversion contributions made in 2017 are still permitted to be recharacterized in 2018 up to the October 15, 2018 deadline, but hopefully it will issue formal guidance confirming this soon." (Morgan Lewis)
What the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Means for Retirement Benefits
"For Roth IRA conversions in 2018 and later, there will be no option to recharacterize the conversion; all Roth conversions will be irrevocable. What's not clear yet is how the law impacts 2017 conversions." (Morningstar)
IRA Balances, Contributions, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation Longitudinal Results 2010-2015 (PDF)
32 pages. "While the cross-sectional overall average balance increased 36.1 percent from 2010 to 2015, the increase for those IRA owners who continuously owned IRAs from 2010-2015 was 47.1 percent.... Roth IRA owners ages 25-29 were the most likely to contribute in any year at 64.1 percent, and Roth IRA owners ages 30-34 were most likely to contribute in all six years at 15.0 percent ... The overall average contribution increased each year through 2013 before a slight decline in 2014 and a small increase in 2015." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])
The Effect of Recent Tax Law Changes on Transfers from IRAs to Charity
"Now that TCJA has substantially increased the standard deduction and has substantially slashed other individual taxpayer deductions, QCD's can be a much more beneficial means of making charitable gifts for the over age 70-1/2 taxpayer.... Generally, direct transfers from the older donor's IRA to the older donor's favorite public charities will be beneficial if the older donor has low or no mortgage interest and does not have medical expenses that substantially exceed the AGI threshold." (Bryan Cave)
How Tax Reform Changed IRA Recharacterizations
"Under the new rules, your list of recharacterization options has been trimmed from four to two. As of January 1, 2018, ... [you] may no longer recharacterize a Roth IRA conversion, from any source. It is now a one-way transaction without an 'undo' feature.... You can continue to recharacterize a regular current year IRA contribution by your tax return due date, plus extensions." (Ascensus)
IRAs, SEPs, SIMPLEs and Qualified Charitable Distributions
"Aside from the philanthropical aspect of making a [qualified charitable contribution (QCD)], a QCD is excludable from taxable income, plus it may count towards the individual's required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year, and may lower taxable income enough for the person to avoid paying additional Medicare premiums.... Where an individual has made nondeductible contributions to his or her traditional IRAs, a special rule treats amounts distributed to charities as coming first from taxable funds, instead of proportionately from taxable and nontaxable funds, as would be the case with regular distributions." (National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA])
Retirement Assets Total $27.2 Trillion in Third Quarter 2017
"Total US retirement assets were $27.2 trillion as of September 30, 2017, up 2.3 percent from June 30, 2017. Retirement assets accounted for 35 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of September 2017." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
Navigating Pension and Annuity Payments: General Rule and Taxation Guidelines
76-slide PowerPoint presentation. Topics: [1] sources of distributions (employer contributions, employee deferrals, Roths, after-tax contributions, and rollovers); [2] restrictions on how early and how late distributions can be taken; [3] penalties on early withdrawals; [4] taxation of lump sum distributions; [5] taxation of withdrawals and partial distributions; [6] taxation of annuities and other periodic payments; [7] plan withholding and reporting; and [8] participant reporting. (Venable LLP)
Why IRA Holders Need to Scrutinize IRS Form 5498
"The major of piece of information to review on Form 5498 is the prior year-end 'fair market value' of the account (Box 5). If you are subject to taking required minimum distributions ... this is the value the IRS would look at first to figure out whether you took your full RMD.... The trouble is, Form 5498 may not arrive until after you've already filed your tax return." (Morningstar)
Tax Reform: Comparison of House and Senate Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Versions (PDF)
7-page chart provides side-by-side comparison summary of current law and the provisions of each bill that pertain to retirement and individual savings arrangements. (Ascensus)
[Guidance Overview] The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Charting a Course, Avoiding Collisions and Potential Litigation, Part 4
"[T]his Q&A addresses issues raised in the Department's recent release which provides for an 18-month Extension ... In particular, [the authors] focus on the issues the Department (and consumer groups) raised regarding the status of 'enforcement' procedures during the transition period, with an emphasis on the comments in the Release on potential implications for both regulatory enforcement and litigation during this period and beyond.... [This Q&A] will address the IRA only transactions as well as potential litigation in federal court when advice or sales are made to ERISA plans." (Carlton Fields)
Senate Passes Tax Reform; Certain Savings Arrangements Impacted
"The changes to savings arrangements that are included in the bill would affect forms, documents, and operations if the provisions become law. The major savings related changes included in the bill are described [in this article].... IRA Recharacterizations Eliminated ... Slower Cost-of-Living Adjustments for IRAs, HSAs, Archer MSAs, and the Saver Credit ... 529 Plans and ABLE Accounts ... Rollover of Offset Retirement Plan Loans ... Hardship Distributions Expanded ... Taxation of Pass-Through Income ... Special Relief for 2016 Disaster Areas ... Items Removed From Original Senate Bill." (Ascensus)
New Tax Bill: No More Roth IRA Do-Overs
"Advisors need to contact every client who did a Roth conversion in 2017, especially if it was on your recommendation. You probably told them -- and rightfully so at the time -- that they had until October 15, 2018 to undo any part or all of that conversion for any reason, even if they simply changed their mind and no longer wished to pay the tax on the conversion. The new law repeals the Roth recharacterization after 2017, which effectively means that any 2017 Roth recharacterizations must be completed by the end of this year, or your clients will be stuck with the tax bill." (Financial Planning)
The Role of IRAs in U.S. Households' Saving for Retirement, 2017 (PDF)
"More than one-third of U.S. households owned individual retirement accounts (IRAs) in 2017.... More than one-quarter of U.S. households owned traditional IRAs in 2017.... More than half of traditional IRA-owning households indicated their IRAs contained rollovers from employer-sponsored retirement plans.... Traditional IRA-owning households with rollovers cite multiple reasons for rolling over their retirement plan assets into traditional IRAs.... Only 12 percent of US households contributed to traditional or Roth IRAs in tax year 2016, and very few eligible households made catch-up contributions to traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])
[Guidance Overview] DOL Extends Transition Period for Fiduciary Rule Exemptions
"During the extended Transition Period, fiduciary advisers have an obligation to give advice that adheres to 'impartial conduct standards.' These fiduciary standards require advisers to adhere to a best interest standard when making investment recommendations, charge no more than reasonable compensation for their services, and refrain from making misleading statements. Further, between now and July 1, 2019, when the exemptions' remaining conditions are scheduled to become applicable, the Department intends to complete its review under the Presidential Memorandum and decide whether to propose further changes." (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
[Official Guidance] Text of EBSA Extension of Transition Period and Delay of Applicability Dates for BICE and other Prohibited Transaction Exemptions
51 pages. "This document extends the special transition period under sections II and IX of the Best Interest Contract Exemption and section VII of the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs for 18 months. This document also delays the applicability of certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 for the same period.... The former transition period was from June 9, 2017, to January 1, 2018. The new transition period ends on July 1, 2019, rather than on January 1, 2018. The amendments to these exemptions affect participants and beneficiaries of plans, IRA owners and fiduciaries with respect to such plans and IRAs." (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
Roth IRAs: Favored for Annual Contributions, Neglected for Rollovers from Company Plans
"The tax on moving funds into a Roth IRA may be sharply reduced by making a series of partial rollovers ... [which] can prevent the taxable income on conversions from piling up into higher tax brackets. Converting just 5% or 10% of plan funds every year can convert them all over time with minimum income tax cost." (Slott Report)
[Guidance Overview] Puerto Rico Treasury Department Issues Post-Hurricane Rules for Qualified Retirement Plan and IRA Distributions and Loans
"As a result of [Administrative Determination No. 17-29], employers must decide whether to amend their plans to incorporate these special rules. Notably, in the event that the employer decides to amend the plan accordingly, AD 17-29 is silent as to which procedure a participant must followed to receive a favorable tax treatment, in the event he/she has already received Eligible Distributions within the Eligible Period prior to the effective date of AD 17-29." (Littler)
60-Day Rollovers: What Happens When Multiple Checks Have Been Issued?
"Individuals who receive multiple distributions from their IRA can generally roll over only one of the distributions as a 60-day rollover within a 12 month period.... There is one exception to this part of the rule. If an individual receives more than one check, from the same IRA, on the same day, then all distributions can be rolled over. This could happen if a custodian issues a separate check for separate investments in one IRA.... On the flip side of the 60-day rollover transaction, an individual can do as many deposits as they wish in order to complete a 60-day rollover." (Slott Report)
Employer Retirement Plans Comparison for Small Businesses, 2018 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 on the areas that are important o the business owner, so as to help ensure that the plan that is chosen is the plan that is most suitable for the business." (Appleby's IRA Publications)
Average 401(k) and IRA Balances Climb, Hitting Record Levels
"Retirement account balances reached all-time highs for the fourth consecutive quarter. Helped by strong stock market performance, the average 401(k) and IRA balances increased 10 percent over the last year and continued to hit record levels. The average 401(k) balance rose to $99,900, while the average IRA balance climbed to $103,500." (Fidelity)
Should Roth IRA Investment Fees Be Paid Personally, or Deducted from the IRA Account?
"[Rev. Rul. 84-146] allows you to pay trustee fees, annual investment management fees (also called 'wrap fees'), but not brokerage commissions, from non-IRA funds without them being considered an additional contribution to the IRA account. Because Roth IRA assets are not touched, the ability of the account to earn tax-free income is not impaired.... Paying investment fees for traditional, non-Roth IRA accounts which will produce taxable income when distributed is more complex." (Quarles & Brady LLP)
Spousal Rollover Rules for Inherited Roth and Traditional IRAs
"Ultimately, the good news is that spousal beneficiaries have the option to make either choice, and even have flexibility about the timing -- allowing a decision to maintain an inherited stretch IRA for the spouse initially, and completing a spousal rollover later (after he/she turns age 59-1/2). Nonetheless, it's important to carefully consider the choices and trade-offs... especially since a spousal rollover, once completed, is irrevocable and cannot be undone after the fact!" (Nerd's Eye View)
October Retirement Deadlines
"Advisors should be contacting all clients where a trust inherited an IRA last year and reminding the trustee of the trust about the documentation requirement to be sure the deadline is not missed. If you are the trustee of a trust that inherited an IRA last year, you need to make sure that a copy of the trust has been provided to either the plan administrator or the IRA custodian by the October 31st deadline." (Slott Report)
401(k) and IRA Holdings in 2016: An Update from the Federal Reserve's 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances
"For working households nearing retirement with a 401(k), median combined 401(k)/IRA balances rose from $111,000 in 2013 to $135,000 in 2016. While growing balances are encouraging, $135,000 provides only $600 per month in retirement, so current saving levels are still falling short. Moreover, about half of households nearing retirement have no 401(k) assets at all, so lack of access to a plan remains an enormous problem." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)
An 'Exception' That Can Delay RMDs from 401(k)s
"The still-working exception does not apply to IRAs. It also doesn't apply to employer plans if an employee isn't currently working for that company.... The IRS has no official position on what exactly constitutes staying on the job. Presumably, an individual could work one hour a year and still be considered employed for this exception to the RMD rules to work.... If the worker owns more than 5% of the company the year he or she turns 70-1/2, he or she will never be able to use the still-working exception.... [F]amily aggregation rules apply in determining the percentage of ownership." (Ed Slott, via Financial Planning)
Leveraging: A Hidden Advantage of Roth 401(k) Accounts
"While no tax deduction is available for contributions to Roths, in general, distributions of both principal and earnings are tax-free. When combined with the ability for leveraging (subject to payment of unrelated business income tax (UBIT)), some interesting planning and tax saving opportunities arise. One such opportunity may be the ability to leverage a Roth account to enhance the deferral and tax-free distribution power of the Roth." (Fox Rothschild LLP)
The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Issues to Consider If You Advise IRAs
"Should a vendor be used to help obtain information about the client's existing account? ... How is the best interest analysis impacted by (a) a self-directed brokerage window in a workplace plan, (b) the plan sponsor subsidizing the current plan's administrative costs, (c) a workplace plan that does not allow the client to leave his or her assets in the plan, (d) a client that has the option to roll assets into an account at a new employer's plan and (e) whether lifetime income options are available under the existing account?" (K&L Gates LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Publication 3125: An Important Message for Taxpayers with IRAs -- The IRS Does Not 'Approve' IRA Investments (PDF)
Rev. Sept. 2017. "If you have an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA), you should be alert to questionable advertisements and solicitations for 'IRS Approved' or 'IRA Approved' investments. These advertisements or solicitations, often for highly speculative or non-traditional types of investments, mislead by falsely claiming that the IRS has approved a particular investment." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
A Fiduciary Rule Guide for Advisors
"The rule expands the 'investment advice fiduciary' definition under [ERISA] of 1974. If this sweeping regulation (1,023 pages in length) is not stopped outright, it will automatically elevate all financial professionals who work with retirement plans or provide retirement planning advice to the level of a fiduciary, bound legally and ethically to meet the standards of that status. While the new rules are likely to have at least some impact on all financial advisors, it is expected that those who work on commission, such as brokers and insurance agents, will be impacted the most." (Financial Planning)
IRA Balances, Contributions, Rollovers, Withdrawals, and Asset Allocation: 2015 Update of the EBRI IRA Database (PDF)
44 pages. "The average IRA account balance in the database was $99,017 at year-end 2015 and the average IRA individual balance (combining all accounts owned by the individual) was $125,045.... The overall IRA withdrawal percentage was largely driven by activity among individuals ages 70-1/2 or older owning a Traditional IRA -- the group required to make withdrawals under the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules.... [A]mong owners under age 60, fewer than 12 percent of any age group had a withdrawal." (Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI])
Reputation Rather Than Fees Drives Most IRA-to-IRA Transfers
"16% of IRA owners switched to another firm because it was recommended by a friend or family member. This push was stronger among men (32%) than it was among women (24%).... 13% of IRA owners are about as likely to say that reputation and recommendations drew them to a specific IRA company as they are to say that they had an existing relationship with that company." (planadviser)
Replace the Stretch IRA?
"[M]ost IRA owners and beneficiaries do not benefit from the 'stretch,' because: [1] The life expectancy payout is available only if the deceased IRA owner named the individual as his 'designated beneficiary.' Many participants flub this step, causing their retirement benefits to pass to their estate rather than directly to family members.... [2] A trust named as beneficiary can qualify for the life expectancy payout under IRS rules -- but only if it meets stringent IRS requirements.... [3] [It] is actually rare for an IRA to be left to a young individual who would qualify for a multidecade payout. [4] Even when the stretch payout is an option, many beneficiaries prefer an immediate cashout over a deferred payout." (Morningstar Advisor)
Why Do People Move from One IRA Sponsor to Another?
"9 percent of all IRA owners transferred their IRA assets to another firm within the last 24 months. Most of these transfers were conducted by working Americans rather than those retired (82 percent vs. 18 percent).... [Y]ounger IRA owners (ages 40-44) are more likely to move their assets than those ages 45 or older (29 percent vs. 11 percent).... [T]he top two reasons people give for selecting another company to manage their retirement assets are relationships and recommendations." (LIMRA)
[Official Guidance] Text of DOL Proposed Extension of Transition Period and Delay of Applicability Dates for BICE and other PTEs
39 pages. "This document proposes to extend the special transition period under sections II and IX of the Best Interest Contract Exemption and section VII of the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs. This document also proposes to delay the applicability of certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 for the same period.... The Department is particularly concerned that, without a delay in the applicability dates, regulated parties may incur undue expense to comply with conditions or requirements that it ultimately determines to revise or repeal. The present transition period is from June 9, 2017, to January 1, 2018. The new transition period would end on July 1, 2019.... Comments must be submitted on or before [Sept. 15, 2017]." (Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL])
[Official Guidance] IRS Publication 1220: Specifications for Electronic Filing of Forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922, 5498, and W-2G for Tax Year 2017 (PDF)
150 pages, August 2017 revision date. Includes a "First Time Filers Quick Reference Guide" with information about Form 4419, Application for Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE), which is used to request authorization to file Forms 1097, 1098 Series, 1099 Series, 3921, 3922, 5498 Series, 8027, 8955-SSA, 1042-S, and W-2G electronically through the Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) System. Excerpt: "Allow a 45-day processing timeframe prior to the earliest information return due date." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule, Part 2
"The legal requirement that advisers make prudent recommendations and act with a duty of loyalty is well understood in the retirement plan world, but is new to IRAs." (FredReish.com)
[Discussion] Treat Required Minimum Distribution as a Qualified Charitable Distribution?
"A 401(k) participant wants to treat her RMD for the year as a qualified charitable distribution. She is eligible for an in-service distribution, so since these rules apply only to IRA's we could transfer her money to an IRA first and she could make the charitable distribution from there. However, isn't the RMD required before the rollover to the IRA? Is there any way around this hiccup?" (BenefitsLink Message Boards)
Transferring IRA Money to a Health Savings Account
"People who still qualify to make HSA contributions can make a one-time rollover from an IRA to an HSA, which can be a good way to build up the account if you don't have other cash to contribute. You must currently have an HSA-eligible health insurance policy with a deductible of at least $1,300 for single coverage or $2,600 for family coverage. The amount you can roll over is the same as your annual HSA contribution limit[.]" (Kiplinger)
Close Is Not Enough When It Comes to the 10% Penalty
"There is an exception to the 10% early distribution penalty for IRA distributions due to an IRS levy. The Pritchards said that even though the IRA distribution was not actually due to a levy by the IRS, it was pretty close because the funds were used to pay taxes and, therefore, this exception to the 10% penalty should apply. Basically, the Pritchards argued that close was good enough. The Court disagreed[.]" [David D. Pritchard et ux. v. Comm'r, T.C. Memo. 2017-136 (July 10, 2017)] (Slott Report)
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)

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