Two Retirement-related Provisions in New Tax Bill

According to the WSJ, there are two provisions in the tax bill that relate to retirement. First, borrowers of 401(k) loans will now have more time to pay back the loan after leaving their job. Currently, the employee has to repay the loan within 60 days following departure from their employer or face taxes and a possible 10% penalty, if younger than 59 1/2 years old.  In the new bill, the loan must be repaid or the proceeds rolled into an IRA by the date of their next Federal tax filing.

The other provision relates to the recharacterizations of Roth conversions, which will cease to exist in the new tax bill. Currently, a conversion to a Roth from a traditional IRA can be reversed by October 15th of the year following the conversion. This tactic was often used by Roth account owners when account balances fell, eliminating the gains that they would have been taxed on.

Thank goodness that early attempts to significantly reduce tax-free contributions into 401(k) plans were rejected.  Clearly, we do not need any additional obstacles for individuals to fund their future retirements.

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