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BENEFICIARY RMD RULES AND 401(K) CONTRIBUTION LIMITS: TODAY’S SLOTT REPORT MAILBAG

By Ian Berger, JD
IRA Analyst

Question:

I have just read as many questions and answers as I could on The Slott Report and am still very confused.  Simply put, I am over 80 years old, and I have had a Roth and a traditional IRA for many years.  My daughter is the sole beneficiary of those IRAs and is in her 50s. Will my daughter have to take an annual RMD from both my Roth and traditional IRA when she inherits, as well as emptying my accounts within the 10-year period?

Hope you can clear up my confusion.  Thanks.

Chris

Answer:

Hi Chris,

This is a confusing area. Your daughter will have to empty both the Roth and traditional IRAs by the end of the tenth year following your year of death. Under the rules issued by the IRS in February, annual RMDs for years 1-9 of that 10-year period are required if a traditional IRA owner dies on or after his “required beginning date” for RMDs. However, a Roth IRA owner is not subject to RMDs, so he is always considered to have died before his required beginning date. You have already reached your required beginning date. This means your daughter will have to take annual RMDs from your traditional IRA in years 1-9, but not from your Roth IRA.

Question:

Someone participates in a 401(k) through his regular employer and has a solo 401(k) for a side job (self-employed). That person maxed out his 401(k) pre-tax deferrals for 2021 through the regular 401(k) and utilized the remaining limit up to $58,000 for a Mega Backdoor Roth contribution via after-tax contributions. Is he eligible for any solo 401(k) contributions for 2021 (not catch-up eligible)? What am I missing here?

Thank you for any input. I love your newsletters and read them all.

Answer:

We appreciate the compliment! We put a lot of work into The Slott Report and the newsletters.

This person couldn’t make any elective deferrals to the solo 401(k). The elective deferral limit, which takes into account only pre-tax elective deferrals and Roth contributions, applies across both plans, and he already maxed out his deferrals in the regular 401(k). But there is another limit, known as the “annual additions limit” or the “section 415 limit,” that takes into account all employee contributions (including after-tax contributions) and employer contributions. That limit applies separately to each plan if the regular employer and the side business aren’t considered related under the tax rules. If the side business is unrelated to the regular employer, this person could make after-tax contributions (not Roth) or employer contributions to the solo 401(k) even though he has maxed out on his annual additions limit in the regular 401(k).

https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/beneficiary-rmd-rules-and-401k-contribution-limits-today%E2%80%99s-slott-report-mailbag

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