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Designated Roth Account (Roth 401k) Distributions

Distributions from a Roth 401k can be very complicated. This article goes into the details you need to be aware of to avoid tax where possible.

What is a 401(k)?

Many of us have access to a 401(k) plan at our workplace – have you ever wondered exactly what a 401(k) is? The 401(k) plan is named for a specific section in the Internal Revenue Code – Section 401, subsection k, to be exact.  This code section lays out the rules for these retirement plans, which are employer-sponsored plans providing a method for the worker or employee to defer a certain amount of income into a savings plan on a pre-tax basis. Often the employer also includes a matching contribution to the employee’s account.  These matches are typically based upon the amount of contribution that the employee makes to the plan – such as a dollar-for-dollar match for contributions made by the employee up to certain percentage of the employee’s income.  The deferred income is not subject to ordinary income tax, but it is still subject to FICA (Social Security) […]

What types of accounts can I rollover into?

OMG IRA (Photo credit: girlonaglide) When you have money in several accounts and you’d like to have that money consolidated in one place, the question comes up – Which type of account can be tax-free rolled over into which other type of accounts? Thankfully, the IRS has provided a simple matrix to help with this question. At this link you’ll find the matrix, sourced from IRS Publication 590. In terms of explanation, here are a few rules to remember: You can generally rollover one account of any variety (IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k), and so on) into another account of the exact same type. You can rollover a Traditional IRA into just about any other tax-deferral plan, including 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), as well as a SEP IRA.  The same goes for each of the accounts in reverse as well as between all of these types of accounts.  In general, employer plans […]

New Opportunities to “Roth”

Recently one of the tenets of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 came into effect, providing you with additional opportunities to set aside funds in a Roth account – not a Roth IRA, but rather a “designated Roth account”, often referred to as a Roth 401(k) or Roth 403(b).  Designated Roth accounts are also often referred to as DRACs – just to keep the acronym train rolling. The way the new law works is that, if you have a 401(k) or 403(b) (the traditional kind), you can roll over or convert some of your funds to a DRAC while the account is still active – as long as your plan is set up to allow in-plan distributions of this variety. The eligible rollover distribution (ERD) must be made: after September 27, 2010; from a non-designated Roth account in the same plan, meaning your traditional 401(k) or 403(b); because of […]