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IRA BLOG

THE CARES ACT 2020 RMD WAIVER: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: The virus pandemic has prompted legislation that has eliminated the requirement for me to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from my IRA for the year 2020. Am I therefore allowed to do a partial Roth IRA conversion in...

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CARES ACT RELIEF FOR RETIREMENT DISTRIBUTIONS AND PLAN LOANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The recently-enacted “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or CARES Act, includes special tax relief for IRA and company plan withdrawals made in 2020 and for company plan loans. Who gets relief? Both the distribution and...

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CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FOR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst As the coronavirus pandemic has spread, many Americans have been hit hard. Their retirement accounts have also taken a serious blow as markets have plummeted. In these tough times, there is a bit of good news as the government has come...

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BUILDING A SAFETY NET – SMALL BUSINESSES RETIREMENT PLANS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst By their nature, small businesses struggle in the shallows. Now they face a tsunami. However, when the shutters are removed and customers return and the employees are back on the payroll, normal day-to-day concerns will be a...

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SPLITTING IRAS AFTER THE SECURE ACT

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst It’s common for IRA owners to leave their assets to multiple beneficiaries – for example, their children. Before the SECURE Act, it usually made sense to split the IRA into separate accounts either before or after death. That’s because...

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INHERITED IRAS AND QCDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: A daughter who has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis is listed as the beneficiary on her father’s Roth IRA.  Does this disease qualify as a “chronic illness” for purposes of the exception to the 10-year rule? Is...

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SELF-CERTIFICATION FOR MISSED 60-DAY ROLLOVERS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When a person takes a distribution from his IRA or workplace plan, he has 60 days from the day of receipt to redeposit (i.e., roll over) those dollars into another qualified account. This assumes no other disqualifying rollovers...

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APRIL 15 DEADLINE LOOMS TO CORRECT 2019 EXCESS PLAN DEFERRALS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The amount of annual elective deferrals you can make to a 401(k) or 403(b) plan is limited by the tax code. If you discover that you’ve over-contributed in 2019, time is of the essence to correct the error. If you don’t act quickly, the...

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QCDS AND THE 10-YEAR RULE: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: My dad was 86 when he died and I inherited half of his IRA, which I elected to stretch.  Am I correct in thinking that since I am not yet 70 ½, I am not allowed to direct qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from this...

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RMD TRIVIA

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

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SEVEN Q&AS ABOUT COMPANY PLAN LOANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Who can offer them? Most company retirement savings plans, such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans, are allowed to (but not required to) offer plan loans. Loans are not allowed from IRAs or SEP and SIMPLE-IRA plans. What is the maximum...

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INHERITED IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Looking for your help. Husband has an inherited IRA (from his dad prior to the SECURE Act) and was taking RMDs using the single life table. Husband passes away in 2020 and leaves the inherited IRA to his wife who is age...

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10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE SECURE ACT’S 10-YEAR RULE

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The SECURE Act overhauled the rules for beneficiaries of retirement accounts. One significant change it brought is the new 10-year payout rule. Here are ten things you need to know about the new 10-year rule. 1. The 10-year rule...

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CAREFUL CONSIDERATIONS: SPOUSAL ROLLOVER OR INHERITED IRA?

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst A spouse beneficiary of an IRA faces many decisions. There is great flexibility and many items to consider. For example, how old was my spouse when he or she passed and what impact will that have on my available choices? Do I need...

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TAX RULES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF WORKPLACE PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Most workplace retirement plans allowing elective deferrals fall into one of these varieties: 401(k) plans for employees of private sector companies. 403(b) plans for employees of tax-exempt employers, public schools and churches. 457(b)...

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SECURE ACT REQUIRES ACTION IF A TRUST IS YOUR IRA BENEFICIARY

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Many IRA owners have named trusts as their IRA beneficiaries. You may be one. Trusts offer control from the grave and can be a smart choice, especially to protect beneficiaries who may be minors, have special needs or simply are not...

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QCDS AND INHERITED ROTH IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Can a QCD be used to pay dues to a charitable organization? Answer: This is an area where we receive a lot of questions. To qualify as a QCD, there cannot be any benefit back to you from the funds that go from your IRA to the...

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INDIANA JONES AND THE 72(T) IDOL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Do you want to access your IRA funds penalty-free, even though you are under age 59 ½ and no exception fits your situation? It can be done. Starting a new business and need capital from your IRA, but don’t want to pay the 10% early...

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SPOUSAL PROTECTION IN COMPANY RETIREMENT PLANS

Ian Berger IRA Analyst One important difference between IRAs and company retirement plans is spousal protection. Except for community property states, spouses of IRA owners do not have any rights to the account. By contrast, many workplace plans must provide spouses...

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MOVING YOUR IRA FUNDS WHILE TAKING RMDS? PROCEED WITH CAUTION

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Are you looking for a better investment for your IRA? Are you thinking about making the move to another IRA custodian or financial advisor? You do have this opportunity. The IRA rules are set up to allow portability. However, if you...

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EDBS IN DETAIL: MINORS, DISABLED AND CHRONICALLY ILL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst For those who inherit IRA accounts in 2020 or later, the SECURE Act permits five groups of people to stretch required minimum distribution (RMD) payments over their life expectancy. As I touched on in a recent Slott Report article...

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THE SECURE ACT AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hi Ed, Question on the new SECURE Act: Do you know if there were any changes to the payout period if an estate is the beneficiary of an IRA. Is it still a 5-year payout? Or is it now 10? Thanks, appreciate your help. Janet...

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SECURE ACT GIVES 401(K) RELIEF TO PART-TIMERS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Part-time employees in companies with 401(k) plans won a big victory when the SECURE Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. Before the SECURE Act, 401(k) plans could exclude employees if they did not work at least 1,000 hours of...

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THE SECURE ACT RUINS A PERFECTLY GOOD QCD

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As we gradually peel back the layers of this legislative onion called the SECURE Act, more and more discoveries come to light. One revelation is how qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) are potentially affected. Could a QCD...

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2020 LIFE TABLES AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hoping you might be able to offer some guidance. We have a client who has two IRA accounts.  The client is 80 years of age. He wants to convert the full amount in one of his IRA accounts to a Roth. The IRS says that...

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THE STRETCH ON A STRETCHER

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The stretch IRA is on a stretcher and paramedics just loaded it into an ambulance. It is on life support. Prognosis: negative. For most new beneficiaries, the stretch will not survive. The SECURE Act is the perpetrator, and it...

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NO RMD RELIEF FOR THOSE 70 ½ IN 2019 UNDER THE SECURE ACT

Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The SECURE Act is here! Most of new law’s provisions kicked in on January 1, 2020, overhauling many of the rules for retirement accounts that have been with us for decades. One significant change the SECURE Act brings us is the delay in...

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HAPPY NEW YEAR

Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst The clock is winding down to the ball-dropping in Times Square that will usher in a new year – and a new decade. The Ed Slott and Company team wishes to thank you for supporting The Slott Report and responding to our articles with such...

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ROTH CONTRIBUTIONS AND RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Question: Hi Ed, Hope all is well.  I have a client that received the HEART benefit as her spouse passed away a few years ago.  We immediately moved those dollars into a Roth for her.  My question is, as we are doing some year-end...

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8 DAYS FOR 6 YEAR-END TRANSACTIONS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As of the writing of this Slott Report submission, it is Monday, December 23, 2019. T-minus 8 days before the end of the year, which means IRA owners have a tight window to complete any year-end transactions. Once the calendar...

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HELLO SECURE ACT, GOOD BYE STRETCH IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst With the clock ticking down on 2019, Congress is expected to enact a $1.4 trillion year-end spending bill to keep the government running. Tucked away inside this mammoth piece of legislation is the Setting Every Community Up for...

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FIVE QDRO Q&AS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst 1. What is a QDRO? A QDRO is a “qualified domestic relations order.” In plain English, it is a state court order obtained by divorcing parties that requires an ERISA plan to pay a portion of a participant’s benefit to the non-participant...

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QCDS AND INHERITED IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: As year-end approaches, I have just exceeded my 2019 RMD, combining total QCD's during the year and my regular monthly IRA withdrawals. If I make additional charitable contributions from my IRA this month, are they still...

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GUNFIGHT AT THE 401(K) CORRAL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst When the chips are down, the providers hold all the cards. This is true for both IRAs and workplace plans. Ultimately, the IRA custodian (through its custodial form) and retirement plan sponsor (through the plan document) will...

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Weekly Market Commentary

December 10th, 2019 Chadd Mason, CEO The Cabana Group Yet Again, the Market Focuses on What Matters - Interest Rates and Earnings After a rocky start to last week, U.S. equity markets rebounded and finished higher, led by Friday's 1% bounce in the S&P 500. The...

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HOW THE TOP-HEAVY RULES FOR 401(K) PLANS WORK

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Just like eating too much pumpkin pie with whipped cream isn’t good for your waistline, being a “top-heavy” retirement plan also may not be healthy. Sponsors of certain retirement savings plans must have their plan tested each year to...

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THANKSGIVING PARADE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a river of sights and colors and sound. A snappy marching band flows to an army of volunteers clutching the ropes of a six-story inflatable SpongeBob, swaying in the wind. Flag bearers and...

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ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Jenny earns a salary of $1,000,000. She is single and is not an active participant in a company retirement plan. Jenny can contribute $6,000 to a traditional IRA and deduct the full amount on her taxes. Benny, also unmarried, has a...

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WHY YOU SHOULD NOT CARE ABOUT THE ROTH IRA FIVE-YEAR RULES

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Roth IRAs first arrived over twenty years ago. A lot has changed since 1998. That was the year that Google was founded and an electronic pet called a Furby was one of the most popular Christmas gifts. However, some things haven’t...

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TEN QCD RULES FOR 2019 YOU NEED TO KNOW

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst If you are charitably inclined and have an IRA, you might want to consider doing a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) for 2019. The deadline for a 2019 QCD is fast approaching. It is December 31, 2019 and many custodians have even...

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QCDS AT THE STATE LEVEL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Earlier this month, a tax notification service released information declaring that “North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed legislation allowing an income exclusion for distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) to...

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HOW THE 401(K) NONDISCRIMINATION RULES WORK – PART 2

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Many 401(k) plans must pass two annual nondiscrimination tests: the ADP test and the ACP test. The November 11 Slott Report discusses the ADP test. This Slott Report tackles the ACP test and the options available to 401(k) plans that fail...

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By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst If you participate in a 401(k) plan, you probably know about the annual limit on the amount of your deferrals (for 2019, $19,000, or $25,000 if over age 50). But if you are a high-paid employee, another limit may apply. Welcome to the IRS...

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MODERATION

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Hypersensitivity to caffeine - this is my affliction. So much so that I limit myself to one energy drink per week. It must be opened before noon and should be nursed for a minimum of 90 minutes. Any violation could result in me...

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WHO SHOULD BE YOUR IRA BENEFICIARY?

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst IRAs are for saving for retirement. However, as these accounts have grown over the years, many IRA owners still have significant funds in their IRA at their death. This means that estate planning for IRAs is essential. Effective estate...

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VESTING RULES FOR COMPANY PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst If you’re thinking about leaving your job, you may want to inquire about your company retirement plan’s vesting schedule. If you are close to becoming vested in a retirement benefit, it may pay to stick it out until you have enough...

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THE 5-YEAR FOREVER CLOCK

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Buckle your seatbelt and hang on to your hat. This ride could get bumpy. We are about to embark on a conversation that might give some readers vertigo or whiplash or all of the above. An article I wrote about the two 5-year clocks...

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SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SPOUSAL IRA CONTRIBUTIONS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Many individuals find themselves stepping away from a job for reasons such as raising children or being a caregiver to aging parents. When this happens retirement savings can take a hit. That does not necessarily need to be case. You...

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ALL ABOUT ERISA

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Contrary to urban legend, ERISA does not stand for “Every Ridiculous Idea Since Adam.” Instead, it is an acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. ERISA is a federal law that regulates employer-sponsored retirement...

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CARRY THE BOX

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst My wife teaches elementary school kids. Been at it for years. Long enough to have former students visit her classroom as adults. She was put on this Earth to teach. Tough job, though. Even at this early age, and oftentimes through...

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THREE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE YEAR OF DEATH RMD

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst There are always questions that come up as to the correct way to handle the required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year of death of the IRA owner. Here are three things you need to know about the year of death RMD. 1. The RMD for...

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RETROACTIVE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Retroactive adjective ret·​ro·​ac·​tive | extending in scope or effect to a prior time or to conditions that existed or originated in the past; especially: made effective as of a date prior to enactment, promulgation, or...

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FOUR OCTOBER 15 DEADLINES YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst October is upon us. This means fall is in full swing. Along with football, pumpkin-spice everything and stocking up on candy for trick-or-treat come four important October 15 deadlines you will not want to miss! 1. Did you contribute...

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DOLLAR LIMITS WHEN PARTICIPATING IN TWO COMPANY PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Knowing your limits is important when you’re sitting in a bar and realize that you have to drive home. It’s also important to know the dollar limits that apply when you participate in more than one company retirement savings plan or you...

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HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst My son is 14. I make every effort to expose him to a wide array of cultural elements. A variety of music. Plays. History. Food. Movies from the 80’s and 90’s are a significant slice of the “Understanding Social References” pie...

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EXCEPTIONS TO THE 10% PENALTY FOR BOTH IRAS AND COMPANY PLANS

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Retirement accounts are supposed to be for saving for retirement. If you tap your retirement savings before reaching age 59 ½, you run the risk of being hit with the 10% early distribution penalty. However, there are exceptions to this...

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A SHORT PRIMER ON DEFINED BENEFIT PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Like cassette tapes and slide rules, defined benefit (DB) plans are becoming relics of the past. It’s estimated that 88% of private sector employees with a company plan in 1975 were covered by a DB plan. Today, that number is less than...

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TOP 10 RMD GOOFS, GAFFES AND BLUNDERS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst People stumble over themselves all the time. Bad advice is provided, misinformation gets freely disseminated, and sometimes normally smart individuals do less-than-smart things. Stories of good folks fouling up their required...

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QCDS AND ROTH CONVERSIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hello, I’ve been a follower of Ed’s expertise for over 10 years. The information has always been helpful and clearly explained. At this time, I’m looking to help a client minimize her taxes. She recently inherited an IRA from...

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RELIEF FOR JOINTLY SPONSORED RETIREMENT PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst If you run a small company, you may be reluctant to offer a retirement plan to your employees because of the cost of plan administration and compliance. If so, you’re not alone: approximately 38 million American workers lack access to a...

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SQUALLS OUT ON THE GULF STREAM

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst As I write, Hurricane Dorian is pummeling the Bahamas, churning the ocean and producing catastrophic damage. Godspeed, Freeport. Forecasts suggest the storm will sweep north and brush the east coast of Florida, which is where I...

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BACK TO SCHOOL WITH AN ESA

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The calendar is turning to September and Starbucks is once again selling pumpkin spice lattes. It’s back to school time! We can all agree that education is expensive. If you have children, you know that you cannot afford to miss out on...

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IRA BENEFICIARIES AND NUAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Question: Hello, I have an IRA from my deceased father. The beneficiary is my mother, but she passed on before my father. The IRA custodian is saying this doesn't go through the estate but directly to me. I thought all IRA's that don't...

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CATCHING UP

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Who says getting old is all bad? Once you reach a certain age, Congress rewards your longevity by letting you contribute an extra amount to your IRA or workplace savings plan – with no strings attached. It’s a great way to boost your nest...

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DEATH, TAXES AND MISSED RMDS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Every year thousands of traditional IRA account owners turn 70 ½ years old. In addition, each year thousands of younger non-spouse beneficiaries inherit traditional and Roth IRA accounts. What do these two groups of people have in...

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ROLLOVERS & RMDS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst Question: We found a discussion on your website’s discussion board in 2011 regarding 60-day rollovers straddling two calendar years. We are trying to confirm that a rollover would still be valid even if the Form 1099-R and 5498 may be...

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3 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW IF YOU INHERIT AN INHERITED IRA

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst IRAs have now been around for decades. This means these accounts are now being inherited by beneficiaries and even, increasingly, by successor beneficiaries. Here are 3 things you must know if you are a successor beneficiary who...

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THE SKINNY ON DC PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst You may know that you participate in a DC retirement plan. But what exactly does that mean? (Hint: It doesn’t mean that your plan is sponsored by the District of Columbia.) “DC” actually stands for “defined contribution” plan. Defined...

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THE SKINNY ON DC PLANS

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst You may know that you participate in a DC retirement plan. But what exactly does that mean? (Hint: It doesn’t mean that your plan is sponsored by the District of Columbia.) “DC” actually stands for “defined contribution” plan. Defined...

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BANKRUPTCY: FAIL TO PLAN? PLAN TO FAIL

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Just as IRA and 401(k) plans have different levels of bankruptcy protection, so too do other possessions. Whether these assets are qualified or not, there are ways to shield oneself from creditors. Case in point - in order to...

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7 COMMON QUESTIONS ON THE SECURE ACT

By Sarah Brenner, JD IRA Analyst The Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act recently passed the House of Representatives by a large margin. It is currently stalled in the Senate. This bill includes a multitude of provisions that would...

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LESSENING THE HARDSHIP

By Ian Berger, JD IRA Analyst Participating in a company plan, like a 401(k) or 403(b) plan, is a great way to save for retirement. But to make sure that employees don’t use those plans as checking accounts, Congress has imposed limits on when you can withdraw your...

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USING NUA FOR AN RMD – 3 STEPS

By Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst Many company retirement plans – like a 401(k) – offer company stock as an investment option. Under special tax rules, a plan participant can withdraw the stock and pay regular (ordinary) income tax on it, but only on the original...

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