Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It seems only fair.

The WSJ reports on a significant change that is coming to 401(k)s. The change will benefit heirs who are not spouses. Non-spouse beneficiaries have been subject to different rules. The benefit to spouses, was once the money was in an IRA, they could stretch out withdrawals, and the tax bills, over their own life expectancies.

Children and other heirs were requried to withdrawing the cash over five years. The new law applies to 401(ks) and other defined-contribution type retirement savings plans. In order to take advantage of this change, beneficiaries have to transfer the inheritance to an IRA and take a first distribution by the last day of the year after the year in which the account owner dies.

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