Pensions & Retirement Benefits -- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

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    The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal law, sets standards for the establishment and operation of employee benefits plans. If you offer employees a health insurance plan or retirement plan, chances are you're covered by the Act. Some ERISA requirements apply to both retirement and welfare benefit plans. Welfare plans are...

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    In 1998, Congress introduced the Roth IRA as a new way to save for retirement. In 2006, the Roth concept was extended to 401(k) plans. From the beginning, taxpayers have been allowed to convert their traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, but tax costs and restrictions limited the appeal of doing so. Recently, the Roth IRA conversion rules...
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    On June 17, President George W. Bush signed the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act of 2008. The HEART Act amends the Tax Code to provide a number of enhanced benefits and incentives to military service members, including reservists and National Guard members who frequently work for civilian employers in addition...
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    Everybody loves a hero. In this time of war, regardless of your political opinions, most are quick to recognize the heroics of our soldiers serving abroad in activated National Guard and reserve units. A new federal law allows, and in some cases requires, you to honor the service of these fighting men and women by expanding the...
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    The U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed the Fourth Circuit in a decision that expands the relief available to participants with individual account retirement plans. The Court held that Section 502(a)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) permits a participant to recover for a fiduciary breach that...
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    Many of you are planning to amend your 401(k) plans to allow participants to make after-tax Roth 401(k) contributions, which have tax advantages similar to Roth individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The IRS recently issued a model amendment that plan sponsors can use to permit their plans to accept Roth 401(k) contributions. On...
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    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance in the form of a proposed regulation that addresses the requirement that certain distributions from retirement plans be automatically rolled over into individual retirement plans unless otherwise elected by the participant. Specifically, the proposal provides a "safe...
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    Over the past two months, we have reported on the provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA or Tax Act) governing qualified retirement plans. The changes generally become effective on January 1, 2002. In this month's article, we review new IRS guidance about the effective dates for certain...
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    Last month, we reported on the provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) governing contributions to qualified plans and employer deductions. In this article, we discuss the EGTRRA provisions governing distributions from qualified plans. These changes generally become effective January 1,...
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    Creditors in bankruptcy cannot reach amounts credited to the account of a common-law employee (or that of a business owner if the business employs common-law employees) in a qualified retirement plan. Under the landmark case Patterson v. Shumate, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that qualified plan assets are excluded from the debtor's...
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