In response to the economic crisis that kicked into high gear last year, Congress passed the Worker, Retiree and Employer Act (WRERA) of 2008 with the goal of providing older Americans some much-needed relief and flexibility in managing their personal finances. Part of the Act allowed for the suspension of minimum required distributions (MRDs) from IRAs and defined contribution plans. However, WRERA was enacted so late in the year, many retirees and plan administrators were unable to adjust to the new rules and many continued to take their MRDs during 2009.
If you are one of the people who unnecessarily took MRDs all year, you’ll be happy to note that on September 24th, the IRS issued Notice 2009-82 which gives you a second chance to keep the money in your account. The normal ban on rolling over MRDs is being temporarily lifted and you now have the option to roll the money back into the IRA or defined contribution plan by November 30th for mandatory payments taken before October 1st. If you took an MRD after September 30th, the deadline for putting the money back into your plan is 60 days after the distribution was made.
Some IRA owners are bound to be disappointed with part of Notice 2009-82. The IRS did not change the part of the tax code which mandates a one-rollover-per-year rule for IRAs. If you are an IRA owner who took your MRD in one lump sum – no problem. You can roll the entire amount back into your plan. Unfortunately, if you’re an IRA owner who took monthly MRDs, you are limited to rolling back only one of the withdrawals.
If your MRD was not taken from an IRA, but from some other defined contribution plan like a 401(k), this one-rollover-per-year does not apply to you. Even if you took monthly distributions, you can still roll the entire amount back into your plan.
IRS Notice 2009-82 provides an excellent opportunity to extend your income tax deferral from your retirement account. Just don’t miss the deadline – November 30th for payments taken before October 1st and 60 days after the distribution for payments made after September 30th.
For a complete look at Notice 2009-82, click on www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-09-82.pdf.