The Death of the Stretch IRA is rearing its ugly head again.
As I have written about, this is personal to me. I was hoping that distributions from my Roth IRA and IRA would be “stretched” over the life of my daughter and maybe grandchildren. It could make a difference of well over a million dollars to my family.
If you have a million dollar or more IRA or retirement plan, this threatened (but as yet not totally defined) legislation could be just as devastating to you and your family. Once the two houses reconcile their differences (see the above post for the details of the different proposals), established estate plans will likely need to be reevaluated. This threat increases the merits of Lange’s Cascading Beneficiary Plan or a similar flexible estate plan. It also creates an even greater incentive for IRA owners considering significant Roth IRA conversions.
I wrote two books on this topic based on the proposal that advanced through the Senate Finance Committee beginning in 2016. While the changes to IRA and retirement plan distribution rules weren’t included in the last set of tax changes (much to our surprise), clearly the idea still has a huge bipartisan appeal.
The action points in both books was to reconsider and revisit the idea of converting more of your IRAs to Roth IRAs. This is consistent with my most recent recommendations encouraging higher conversions because of the low income-tax rates we are currently enjoying. The threat of losing the ability to stretch distributions from IRAs and retirement plans for generations only makes looking into Roth IRA conversions more compelling. If you have an IRA and/or other retirement plan and were hoping to leave it to your heirs with a favorable tax treatment and want to be kept up to date with this information, please call our offices at 412-521-2732.