Thursday, January 08, 2009

H.R. 7327: Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 - MRDs Suspended for 2009

A recent federal law temporarily suspends minimum required distributions (MRDs) from tax-deferred savings for policyholders over age 70½. This suspension is for 2009 only and does not apply to MRDs for 2008. If a policyholder turns 70½ in 2009, no MRD is required. If a policyholder turned age 70½ in 2008, an MRD for 2008 is still required by April 1, 2009.

Although MRDs are not required for 2009, policyholders who need the monies can still take minimum withdrawals. The suspension allows funds that would have been withdrawn to continue to grow tax-deferred for 2009. Impacted plans include IRAs, 401(k)s, and other defined contribution plans. The law also applies to distributions under the five-year rule, where beneficiaries are required to deplete the annuity value within five years of the owner’s death. The new law provides an additional year to meet the depletion requirement. Systematic withdrawals taken by IRA owners or beneficiaries under MRD rules can be suspended. However, these policyholders must notify Policyholder Services to cancel withdrawals for 2009 and then restart them for 2010. For legal, tax or investment advice, please consult a qualified advisor.

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