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When clients are knowledgeable

June 23, 2008

Do you know as much about retirement distribution planning as your clients and prospects? You'd better hope so. If not, you will lose those clients; maybe not now, but very soon. Consumers are getting smarter. In recent seminars I've conducted,...

Tax stimulus may cause IRA headache

May 26, 2008

Some taxpayers who requested a direct deposit of their tax refund into an individual retirement account may be in for unpleasant surprises. What they might not know is that by requesting the direct deposit option, any tax rebate — including...

Stretch IRA saved by IRS ruling

April 28, 2008

Financial advisers should be aware of a new IRS ruling that recently saved the day for an IRA beneficiary and may help your clients. The decision involved a "stretch individual retirement account," which allows a designated IRA beneficiary —...

New rules permit plan balance shift

March 31, 2008

Providing guidance on the provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 that now allows a plan participant to convert a plan balance directly to a Roth IRA, the Internal Revenue Service has issued a set of new rules (Notice 2008-30). In some...

Don't overdo annual contributions

March 3, 2008

Some clients love IRAs so much that they create problems by contributing more than they should. Now that we're entering the peak season for IRA investing, let's review the contribution basics. The maximum amount that can be contributed to a...

Non-spouse rollover muddle lingers

February 4, 2008

If you're looking for a muddle, consider the status of the rule on non-spouse direct rollovers from company plans under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Here's the background: The PPA included a provision that would permit non-spouse plan...

Roth conversion opportunities

January 7, 2008

Beginning this year, a provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 allows participants to convert funds in 401(k)s and other company plans directly to a Roth IRA. Until now, plan participants had to roll funds over to a traditional IRA first...

A reversal of policy on rollovers

November 19, 2007

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 included a provision that would permit non-spouse plan beneficiaries to transfer assets directly from the plan to a properly titled inherited individual retirement account. Also permitted was the ability of...

Don't make early-withdrawal mistakes

October 22, 2007

Early withdrawals from retirement accounts should be discouraged. Withdrawals reverse the retirement savings process, and early distributions are the most expensive type, as they are subject to both income tax and the 10% early withdrawal penalty....

Roth IRA strategies for a rocky market

September 24, 2007

While recent stock market declines may worry some investors, those with stocks and funds in their individual retirement accounts can take advantage of current market volatility by making key moves. If your clients’ IRAs have taken a hit and...

IRA charitable contributions a one-time tax break

May 7, 2007

If your client is charitably inclined and has an individual retirement account that is subject to required minimum distributions (over age 70½), it pays to make a direct transfer to the charity from the IRA, rather than using other funds for...

ERISA regulation trumps prenuptial agreement

April 23, 2007

If you have clients with sizable pension plans who are getting married for the first, second or third time — or more — the question of who gets the pension plan after death must be agreed upon now, and the agreement must hold up when the time...

The plan participant who was ‘active’ but not eligible

March 26, 2007

This is the time of the year that most individual retirement account contributions are being made, but they may or may not be deductible. If you are active in a company plan, and your income exceeds certain amounts, then you cannot deduct your...

Unexpected trouble on direct non-spouse rollovers

March 12, 2007

Transfers to non-spouse company retirement plan beneficiaries under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 are effective for 2007 (InvestmentNews, Jan. 29), but it turns out there may be problems and challenges in obtaining the intended benefits....

Protecting plan assets for non-spouse beneficiaries

January 29, 2007

Buried deep in the 900-plus pages of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 are several individual retirement account and plan gems that create new retirement planning opportunities for your clients. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for financial...

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