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The Slott Report

The Stretch on a Stretcher

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 gives no quarter. The Act stood defiantly over the stretch after inflicting its damage and made no effort to run when the sirens wailed. But all is not lost. Despite its injuries and overall dire shape, prone in a hospital bed, the stretch may still help some needy heirs. Preceding this assault, essentially two classes of beneficiaries existed. There was the all-encompassing “Beneficiary” term that comprised everyone and everything. Charities, spouses, grandkids, estates, nieces, nephews, trusts, etcetera all fell under this enormous umbrella. Additionally, there was a further subdivision dubbed “Designated Beneficiaries.”

THE SECURE ACT’S IMPACT ON QUALIFIED CHARITABLE DISTRIBUTIONS AND REQUIRED MINIMUM DISTRIBUTIONS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

Question: I turn 70 1/2 in 2020. Since I do not have to take a required minimum distribution (RMD), how much can I do in a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) this year? Ronnie Answer: Hi Ronnie, Even though you won’t have an RMD for 2020, that doesn’t affect your ability to take a QCD at age 70 ½. One of the benefits of taking a QCD is to have it count towards the RMD. However, QCDs can be taken in amounts in excess of the RMD (up to the $100,000 annual limit) and can even be taken in years (such as 2020 in your case) when there is no RMD. Just be sure not to initiate the QCD before you are actually 70 ½.

SECURE Act Attempts to Advance Annuities in Company Savings Plans – Part 1: Protection for Plan Sponsors

There are three new provisions in the recently enacted SECURE Act designed to promote annuities in company savings plans. That explains why insurance companies lobbied so hard for passage of the legislation. The three provisions are: New protection for plan sponsors who want to start offering annuities. New options for participants to keep their plan annuity investments if the plan stops offering annuities. A new requirement that benefit statements show annuity illustrations. Today, we’ll discuss the first of these three changes. A future Slott Report will tackle the other two.

No RMD Relief for Those 70 ½ in 2019 under the SECURE Act

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 the age at which RMDs must start from 70 ½ to 72. This new rule has raised questions as to how those who reached age 70 ½ in 2019 are affected. Some had already taken 2019 RMDs. Others were waiting to take their first RMD until closer to their required beginning date of April 1, 2020. What happens now to those who reached 70 ½ in 2019? Do they still need to take an RMD for 2019? Can they then stop RMDs until they reach age 72? Would they have a new required beginning date?

The SECURE Act and Inherited Retirement Accounts: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

Question: With the SECURE Act, can a person who is older than 70 ½ fund a 2019 Traditional IRA? The SECURE Act goes live on 1/1/2020, and an IRA can be funded up to 4/15/2020 for the previous year. Any reason they cannot? Answer: Unfortunately, the answer is no. The new rule eliminating the age limit for traditional IRA contributions is effective January 1, 2020. Prior year contributions for 2019 would be subject to the old rules, including the age limit. The bad news is that a 2019 contribution would not be allowed. The good news is that for 2020 and later years, the age limit is gone.

Happy New Year

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 insightful comments and questions. 2020 promises to be an exciting year in the IRA and savings plan worlds, as the full ramifications of the new SECURE Act begin to take shape. Beyond that, the IRS will likely finalize the new life expectancy tables expected to become effective in 2021. And who knows what other IRS guidance and momentous court decisions will be coming our way?

Roth Contributions and RMDs: Today's Slott Report Mailbag

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 planning, can I add to this Roth by doing a conversion, or do I need to open up a separate Roth for her? Answer: The HEART Act allows a beneficiary of military death gratuities to contribute those funds to a Roth IRA. The Roth contribution can be made without regard to the annual contribution or income limits. The contribution must be done within

8 DAYS FOR 6 YEAR-END TRANSACTIONS

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 turns, if not finalized in time, some items will be forever lost. Here are six transactions that absolutely must be completed within the next 8 days to avoid penalty and/or a lost opportunity: Over 70 ½ RMDs. While the first RMD for the year a person turns 70 ½ can be delayed until April 1 of the next year, all future RMDs must be taken before the end of the calendar year. There is no wiggle room.

ROLLING OVER MULTIPLE CHECKS AND BACKDOOR ROTH IRAS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

Question: My husband has taken two different qualified distributions from his Roth IRA within the last 60 days. We would like to "pay those back.” It looks like we can put money back into the Roth IRA as a rollover. My question is: Can we put the total amount of the two distributions back into the same IRA, or are we limited to "paying back" just one of those distributions Thanks, Laura Answer: Hi Laura, Redepositing the funds back into the Roth IRA is considered a rollover. Unfortunately, only one of your husband’s withdrawals can be rolled back into his Roth IRA. He is not permitted to combine them and then roll the combined amount back.

Hello SECURE Act, Good bye Stretch IRA

A $1.4 trillion year-end spending bill was signed into law on December 20, 2019 in order to keep the government running. Tucked away inside this mammoth piece of legislation is the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which became effective January 1, 2020. This new law includes significant changes to retirement accounts, including: Age Limit Eliminated for Traditional IRA Contributions Beginning in 2020, the new law eliminates the age limit for traditional IRA contributions (formerly 70 ½). Now, those who are still working can continue to contribute to a traditional IRA, regardless of their age. Age Limit Eliminated for Traditional IRA Contributions Beginning in 2020, the new law eliminates the age limit for traditional IRA contributions (formerly 70 ½). Now, those who are still working can continue to contribute to a traditional IRA, regardless of their age. Age Limit Eliminated for Traditional IRA Contributions Beginning in 2020, the new law eliminates the age limit for traditional IRA contributions (formerly 70 ½). Now, those who are still working can continue to contribute to a traditional IRA, regardless of their age.
 

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