Financial advisors may want to advise clients on several retirement breaks that could be eliminated the same way Congress slashed the tax benefits of so-called stretch individual retirement accounts, according to news reports.
One provision of the federal government appropriations bill, signed by U.S. president Donald Trump into law in December, was to remove the required minimum distribution provisions for stretch IRAs.
Some financial advisors are warning their clients to be ready for other changes affecting retirement breaks, according to the Wall Street Journal. After all, the Stretch IRA provision had been around for about three decades, Natalie Choate, an attorney who is a retirement specialist with Nutter, McClennen & Fish, tells the paper.
A stretch IRA is an estate planning strategy that extends the tax-deferred status of an inherited IRA when it is passed to a non-spouse beneficiary.
Proposals to eliminate several other tax breaks have been around in some cases for more than five years, the Journal writes.
Among the targets is the so-called back-door Roth IRA, which lets some savers exceeding income limits for Roth IRA contributions to put up to $6,000, or $7,000 for those 50 and older, into a non-deductible traditional IRA and then convert it into a Roth IRA, according to the paper. One proposal would limit conversions only to pre-tax dollars, the Journal writes.
Another proposal would require annual withdrawals from Roth IRAs, the same way they’re currently required for traditional IRAs for savers 72 and older, according to the paper. Deductions of traditional IRAs and 401(k)s are also under the microscope, the Journal writes.
Currently, contributions to these accounts can be fully deducted, but one proposal would cap deductions at 28%, even for high earners whose marginal tax rate is 33% or higher, according to the paper.
Another proposal would limit contributions to IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement saving plans to around $3.4 million, Ed Slott, an IRA specialist and certified public accountant, tells the Journal.
“I tell [clients], ‘The tax law is written in pencil. Trusting Congress to keep the law the same for 50 years is irrational,'” Robert Hickok, who works with owners of small- and midsize businesses, tells the paper. “Stay flexible, and don’t put all your eggs in one tax basket.’”