News & Analysis as of

What Is the Difference Between a 401(k) and an IRA?

The terms 401(k) and individual retirement account (IRA) are bandied about quite a bit when discussing retirement planning, but what are the actual differences between the two? The main distinction is that a 401(k) -- named...more

Tax Law Blog: 2015 Retirement Plan Limits Announced

Every year, about this time, the IRS calculates the cost of living increases, and determines whether the change is enough to trigger an adjustment to the statutory limit/threshold for various areas, including retirement...more

An Inherited IRA And Bankruptcy

In Clark v. Rameker, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 12, 2014, the Court ruled that an inherited IRA did not constitute “retirement funds” under the Federal Bankruptcy Code and, therefore, those funds were...more

Accepting Rollover Contributions Now Easier - and Less Risky - For Retirement Plans

The administrative burden of determining the validity of rollover contributions to qualified retirement plans, and the associated risk of jeopardizing the plan’s tax-qualified status, traditionally has been a significant...more

IRS Issues Final Regulations On Longevity Annuities

With the goal of providing retirees with more options to manage their retirement income, the IRS issued final regulations on “qualified longevity annuity contracts” (QLACs). A QLAC is a type of deferred annuity that commences...more

Mitigating Longevity Risk in DC Plans

401(k) participants face the risk of outliving retirement assets. However, earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department issued final regulations that make it easier for 401(k) plans, individual...more

Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs Available to Creditors in Bankruptcy

On June 12, 2014 the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clark v. Rameker, 13-299, ruling that inherited IRA accounts are available to creditors in bankruptcy. At issue was a Bankruptcy Code provision that...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Clark won’t impact inherited IRAs of Missouri residents

Creditors are generally aware that a debtor may shield from collection by creditors assets that the debtor holds in Individual Retirement Account (IRA). However, as more IRA owners die with substantial assets remaining in...more

Beneficiary Designations Can Cause Problems for Children With Special Needs

Private retirement savings plans, like IRAs and 401(k)s, have become the main way for American families to save for retirement. But parents of children with special needs need to be vigilant when signing up for a retirement...more

New Fiduciary Rule Delayed

The Department of Labor (DOL) just announced that they were delaying the implementation of a new fiduciary rule for retirement plans and individual retirement accounts. They claim it will be released in 2015. How many years...more

Good News for Employers: IRS Simplifies Rollover Validation Process

To simplify the rollover validation process, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a new Revenue Ruling 2014-9 that provides guidance on the process for a trustee-to-trustee tax-free rollover between tax-qualified...more

MyRA Will Offer Retirement Accounts to Employees Without Access Through Employers

It is estimated that nearly half of American employees do not have access to retirement plans sponsored by their employers. President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he would be ordering the Department...more

Tax Court Stingier Than IRS

Generally, amounts received by an IRA distributee are included in gross income. However, Code Sec. 408(d)(3)(A) avoids gross income if the distributee contributes the received amounts to an IRA, individual retirement annuity,...more

Be Careful With Self-Directed IRA Investment Selection

For many Americans, IRAs (individual retirement accounts) are popular and viable options for retirement savings. An IRA allows an individual to put away a certain amount of funds each year, without immediately being subject...more

Protection From Creditors for Retirement Plan Assets

• The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 clarified the rights of debtors and creditors to retirement assets in federal bankruptcy proceedings, but state attachment and garnishment of such assets...more

Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2013: Can portability help preserve retirement benefits?

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) made the estate tax exemption “portability” feature permanent. This allows a surviving spouse to take advantage of a deceased spouse’s unused federal gift and estate tax...more

Rollovers as Business Startups: A Guide to Using Retirement Funds to Start a Business

Over the past 10 years, thousands of entrepreneurs have used their existing retirement savings held by a qualified retirement plan or IRA to finance the startup or acquisition of a new business. According to industry experts...more

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2013: Estate Planning Pitfall: A beneficiary designation or joint title overrides...

Inattention to beneficiary designations and jointly held assets can quickly unravel an estate plan. Many don’t realize that their will doesn’t control the disposition of “nonprobate assets,” such as life insurance policies,...more

Fast-Approaching Deadline for Recharacterizing a Roth IRA Conversion

If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA in 2012, you have until October 15, 2013 to “recharacterize” the account and revert back to a traditional IRA. ...more

When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Water - Estate Tax Revisions

In January 2013, when President Obama and Congress compromised on changes in the estate tax area most commentators thought the changes (part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012) meant that further changes to estate...more

My Broker at E.F. Hutton Says..........? -- Using Private Placement Variable Deferred Annuities (PPVA) to Invest in Real Estate...

Overview - American taxpayers have approximately $4.7 trillion invested in IRAs as of 2011. Only 2 percent of these assets or $94 billion are invested in self-directed IRAs. This is a surprising result when you...more

The Ubiquity of Retirement Planning

Advice on retirement planning is being offered by many entities and forms of media these days. Those of us in the early baby boom generation are bombarded by offers to have dinner and listen to lectures as to how to invest...more

The Seven Ages of Retirement

Important decisions in planning retirement income and expenses can be made at seven ages, and the decisions made at those ages can have a substantial effect on the quality of retirement....more

Top 5 Tax Mistakes That Doctors Make

Most doctors loath dealing with financial reports and generally dealing with the business side of the practice of medicine. ...more

Legal Alert: President's 2014 Budget Includes Employee Benefits Proposals

On April 10, 2013, the White House released its Fiscal Year 2014 Budget (the Budget), which includes a number of proposals related to employee benefit plans. Although it is unlikely that all of the proposals will ultimately...more

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