New IRS Guidance for Designated Roth Accounts

Does your employer offer a 401(k), 403(b) or governmental 457 plan? If so, you may be able to set up a designated Roth account through your company's plan. Then your Roth account will be allowed to receive designated Roth contributions that are taken out of your salary through so-called "salary-reduction contributions." Here's more on how this strategy works, why it may be advantageous for certain Continue Reading

Save Taxes with Employer-Provided Transportation Fringe Benefits

The Internal Revenue Code allows some worthwhile tax breaks for transportation-related employee fringe benefits. They're intended to persuade you to give up your gas-guzzling vehicle when commuting to work and instead "go green." If your employer offers these tax-favored benefits, you should consider signing up. Here are the specifics. Favorable Tax Treatment The employer-provided benefits Continue Reading

New Rules for Certain Investment Advisers

After several years of processing, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new fiduciary regulations on April 6. A previous attempt, back in 2010, was scrubbed when the investment community roundly criticized it as overkill. The new regulations seek to update the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) enacted in 1974. Back then, the focus of ERISA was on traditional defined-benefit Continue Reading

Work Out a Plan for Retirement Payouts

It takes a lot of years and hard work to arrive at retirement. Hopefully, you've been able to set aside enough funds in a company retirement plan to enable you to spend your golden years in relative comfort and security. Exceptions to the Early Withdrawal Penalty     The tax law imposes an additional 10 percent tax on certain distributions from retirement plans to discourage Continue Reading

Tackle Key Financial Issues as You Face Retirement

The Baby Boomer generation reached its peak in 1957 at an annual birth rate of about 4.3 million people. It's hard to believe that these Baby Boomers will turn 59 years old in 2016. An important rite of passage that comes with this age is that they'll soon be eligible to withdraw funds from their qualified retirement funds without incurring the 10% early withdrawal penalty. But this is just the Continue Reading

Last-Minute Tax Savings: Hurry Before Time Runs Out

Another tax year is drawing to a close. But there's still time for individual taxpayers to trim their tax liabilities for 2015 and beyond, before the New Year begins. Here are 10 eleventh-hour moves that you can still make before the clock strikes midnight on January 1. 1. Increase Your 401(k) Deferral Consider increasing your 401(k) deferral for the last few paychecks of the year. Doing Continue Reading

Is Your 401(k) Plan Up to Snuff? Watch Out for These Audit Red Flags

Four emerging potential 401(k) trouble spots are becoming a greater focus at the Department of Labor (DOL). One involves self-directed brokerage accounts, or "brokerage windows," that allow participants to purchase individual securities. The DOL worries that participants with limited investing experience will jump on the hottest stock or market sector at its high-water mark, watch it tank, then Continue Reading

Make Your 401(k) Do Its Job

The battle to get most employees to participate in a 401(k) seems to have been won. A recent survey of businesses both large and small found more than 80 percent employee participation for 57 percent of employers. The survey was done by WorldatWork and the Employee Benefits Institute.* When you add the 16 percent of employers with participation rates between 70 percent to 79 percent, you find Continue Reading