The New Inherited I.R.A. Rules
 – Presented by Mark K. Lund, Financial Advisor

Do you know what has changed for I.R.A. beneficiaries?

New inherited I.R.A. rules took effect on January 1, 2020. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act became law on that day, altering the regulations on inherited Individual Retirement Account (I.R.A.) distributions.

The big change: the introduction of the 10-year rule for beneficiaries. Most people who inherit an I.R.A. now have to empty that I.R.A. of assets within ten years of the original owner’s death. You can do this as you wish; you can withdraw the whole I.R.A. balance at once, or take incremental distributions on the way to meeting the 10-year deadline.1

Remember that tax rules constantly change. There is no guarantee that the tax treatment of Roth and Traditional I.R.A.s will remain what it is now. This article is for informational purposes only. If you have inherited or expect to inherit a traditional or Roth I.R.A., be sure to consult a financial advisor for real-world advice.

Are there exceptions to this rule? Yes. If the deceased I.R.A. owner was your spouse, you can treat the inherited I.R.A. like an I.R.A. of your own. If it is a traditional I.R.A., you generally must take required minimum distributions (R.M.D.s) from it once you reach age 72. The I.R.S. taxes those distributions as regular income, and if you take any distributions before age 59½, they may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. If it is a Roth I.R.A., you aren’t required to take R.M.D.s. (You may continue to contribute to a Traditional I.R.A. past age 72 as long as you meet the earned-income requirement.)1

Certain non-spousal I.R.A. beneficiaries still have the chance to “stretch” inherited I.R.A. distributions over their remaining lifetimes, using Internal Revenue Service formulas (a choice available to most I.R.A. beneficiaries before 2020). You may choose this option if you are less than ten years younger than the original I.R.A. owner. You can also elect to do this if you meet the SECURE Act’s definition of a “disabled” or “chronically ill” individual (you have a life-altering physical or mental impairment or require extended care).1,2

Lastly, if a child inherits an I.R.A., they can take distributions based on the child’s life expectancy until the age of 18, at which point the aforementioned 10-year rule applies.1

If you are a Roth I.R.A. beneficiary, be aware of the 5-year rule pertaining to Roth I.R.A.s. If you inherit a Roth I.R.A. that is less than five years old at the time of the original owner’s death, any earnings taken from it will count as taxable income. If the Roth I.R.A. is more than five years old, you can take tax-free distributions from the earnings. Assets representing the original owner’s Roth I.R.A. contributions can become tax-free distributions regardless of when the original owner opened the Roth I.R.A.1

What’s the big takeaway from all this? Suppose you are relatively young and anticipate a large I.R.A. inheritance, and that big I.R.A. is a traditional I.R.A. In that case, you can anticipate greater income taxes during the 10-year window when you take those inherited I.R.A. distributions.

By the way, the new rules do not apply to inherited I.R.A.s whose initial owners died prior to 2020. If you are a beneficiary of such an I.R.A., then you may still attempt to “stretch” the inherited I.R.A. assets according to I.R.S. life expectancy formulas and take R.M.D.s as required by the old rules.3

If you ever have any questions about your investments or retirement plans, please feel free to give me a call at 801-545-0696.

 

Citations
1. NerdWallet, November 25, 2020
2. FedWeek, March 3, 2020
3. Forbes, October 28, 2020

This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary, Inc., for Mark Lund, Mark is known as a Wealth Advisor, The 401k Advisor, Investor Coach, Financial Advisor, Financial Planner, Investment Advisor and author of The Effective Investor. Mark offers investment advisory services through Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc. a fiduciary, independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor firm providing investment and retirement planning for individuals and 401k consulting for small businesses. Mark’s newsletter is called The Fiduciary Report. Cities served in Utah are: Salt Lake County, Utah County, Park City, Salt Lake City, Murray, West Jordan, Sandy, Draper, South Jordan, Provo, Orem, Lehi, Highland, Alpine, American Fork.

Category: Articles, Blog

About the Author ()

Mark K. Lund is the author of The Effective Investor, a #1 Best Seller, and founder of Stonecreek Wealth Advisors, Inc. an independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisory firm. He has provided articles for or been quoted in: The Wall Street Journal, The Salt Lake Tribune, The Enterprise Newspaper, The Utah Business Connect Magazine, US News & World Report, and Newsmax.com, just to name a few.  Mark publishes two newsletters called, “The Mark Lund Growth Report” and “Mark Lund on Money.”  Mark provides CPE (continuing professional education) courses for CPAs.  You may also have seen him on KUTV Channel 2, or as a guest speaker at a local association or business. Mark provides investment and retirement planning services for individuals and 401(k) consulting for small businesses. In his book, The Effective Investor, Mark exposes the false narrative magazines, media, big Wall Street firms, and most advisors want you to believe. The good news is that Mark will show you that you don’t need their speculative ways of investing in order to be a successful investor. Get a free copy when you schedule your initial consultation.

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