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Michael Devault

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  1. Dan: Not the archive, but on the home page. The blue button in the second row ( see below) is the one that gives the error.
  2. Dan, The link to the discussion board on the home page gives the following error: Error: The URI you submitted has disallowed characters. I like the look of the revised site. Keep up the great work. Michael
  3. According to my calculations, the elective deferral limit should increase to $19,000 in 2019. The "age 50" catch-up will remain at $6,000. And, the 415 limit should increase from $55,000 to $56,000. The IRS should publish an official list of COLA adjustments in a few days.
  4. Hi Michael,

    Shannon has a question which requires your expertise.

    Have a great day,


  5. I'm sorry for not responding sooner, MoeMoney. I've been away from the office for several days. I used the example in an attempt to simplify the discussion. In doing so, the over-simplification might be a bit misleading. I've seen loans work "mechanically" in a couple of ways. In one, the account balance does, indeed, continue to be credited with earnings. However, the portion used to collateralize the loan is charged with interest at a rate that's a bit higher than the rate being credited to the account. Thus, while the account balance increases, the loan increases at a greater rate. Upon default, the account continues to be credited with earnings, but the loan also increases with interest until an offset can be made. It's easy to see that at some point, the entire balance may be "upside-down," where the loan plus accrued interest is more than the account value. This method is typically used on accounts that credit a fixed rate of interest. In the other method, the amount issued as a loan is actually taken from the account value. Since the money is no longer in the account, it of course is no longer subject to gains/losses. The loan is charged a rate of interest, such as prime plus 1%, and when loan repayments are made, the principal element is returned to the account value while the interest element is paid to the entity administering the loan. If the loan is defaulted, it continues to grow at the specified interest rate until an offset distribution is available. Depending on the earnings of the account, this, too, can cause the unfortunate situation where the loan exceeds the account value. In either case, the loan causes a reduction of the future value of the account below what it would have been had the loan not been made. This is one of the primary reasons not to take a loan from a 403(b) or any other type of retirement account. I hope this answers your question.
  6. Well, it's not quite that simple. It's a common misconception that a qualified plan loan constitutes the borrowing of the participant's money. The loan is actually made as a separate transaction using the account as collateral. The value of your account continues to fluctuate based on investment gains and losses. The loan, on the other hand, is separate and likely bears a fixed rate of interest. It's similar in some respects to a car loan. When you purchase a car, you sign a loan agreement stating that you'll repay the loan over Y years at % interest. You're obligated to repay the loan regardless of what happens to the value of the car. For example, if the car is "totaled" in a wreck and it's value reduces to nothing, you still have to repay the loan. In the same respect, your 403(b) loan is an agreement to repay the lender interest at the specified interest rate. While you're using your account as collateral for the loan, you're not actually borrowing "your" money, so you're not paying interest to yourself. Rather, you're borrowing money from the plan and the plan is the entity earning the interest. Like I said earlier, your plan administrator should be able to tell you how much it will take to settle the loan. Depending on the investment results of your account, the loan repayment could exceed the account value. HTH.
  7. Under the IRS Regulations, when a 403(b) loan is not repaid, it creates a taxable event. In this instance, it caused what is known as a deemed distribution, which generated the Form 1099-R that you received. However, because you had not yet attained age 59½, an actual distribution of cash to offset the loan could not be made due to the fact that a qualifying event (death, disability, etc.) for a distribution had not occurred. Thus, while you received a 1099, the loan actually remained on your account and continued to accrue interest. Further, it will continue to do so until a qualifying event occurs, at which time a portion of the account balance will be used to actually repay the loan. I suggest that you contact the plan administrator for details. Since you mentioned that you're out of work, your separation from service is most likely considered a qualifying event that will permit an offset so the loan can be repaid and stop the accrual of additional interest. I hope this helps. Best of luck to you!!
  8. If you plan to use the fixed amortization method, it would probably be best to use the account value as of the date those distributions begin, March 1 in your example. The reason is because the results of that method yields a static amount that must be taken each and every year during the amortization period, so you'll likely want to figure that amount such that it will fully amortize the account. While the Rev. Rul. states that the amortization method provides the annual amount to be distributed, I can't image the IRS objecting to taking that amount out quarterly, just as long as it's done consistently.
  9. The rules are found it Rev. Rul. 2002-62. Specifically the provision defining account balance is reproduced, below. The ruling provides an example that uses the balance as of December 31 of the prior year, but it also states that it must be determined "in a reasonable manner based on the facts and circumstances." If the IRA didn't exist on the prior December 31, it would seem reasonable to use the balance at the time distributions begin, especially if you use either the fixed amortization or fixed annuitization method of determining the payment amount. If you use the required minimum distribution method, it would seem reasonable to use the current balance to determine the first year's distribution amount and the prior December 31 balance for subsequent years. The account balance that is used to determine payments must be determined in a reasonable manner based on the facts and circumstances. For example, for an IRA with daily valuations that made its first distribution on July 15, 2003, it would be reasonable to determine the yearly account balance when using the required minimum distribution method based on the value of the IRA from December 31, 2002 to July 15, 2003. For subsequent years, under the required minimum distribution method, it would be reasonable to use the value either on the December 31 of the prior year or on a date within a reasonable period before that year’s distribution.
  10. While you didn't mention your age, I'll first mention that section(72)(t) does two things: First, it establishes the 10% penalty for distributions prior to age 59½. Second, it provides for a number of exceptions to that penalty. Thus, if you have already attained age 59½, the section is not applicable. Also, as krow36 mentions, if you separate from service after you attain age 55, the 10% penalty does not apply to distributions taken from a 403(b). This exception does not apply, however, to distributions from IRAs even if the IRA was created by a rollover from a 403(b). Now back to your question. When you begin taking distributions under the "substantially equal periodic payments" provision, the account balance used to calculate the distribution amount is the balance of the IRA at the time the distributions begin. Also, keep in mind two other things: The IRS provides three specific methods that you are permitted to use in calculating the amount of distribution. Be sure to use one of those methods. Once the distributions begin, you must continue until the later of 5 years or attainment of age 59½ and may not change the amount of the distribution. Discontinuation or changing the amount will result in all of the "forgiven" penalties to be recovered. Hope this helps.
  11. Revenue Ruling 90-24 was one of many rulings made obsolete by Revenue Ruling 2009-18, which was issued in June, 2009. Hope this helps.
  12. Hi, Steve. On the contrary, I haven't retired. Still working 40+ per week, just not as active in the 403(b) area as I once was. I still check the board periodically and, if there's a question I feel qualified to answer, I do so. I think you misunderstood my response. There should be no change to the elective deferral limit unless the September CPI for September reached an unprecedented level. Similarly, there will be no increase to social security benefits. However, I understand that Medicare Part B premiums for upper income taxpayers will increase, even thought the base premium will not. Another fine example of our tax dollars working hard for us.
  13. I've done some calculations on this. The contribution limit is indexed to the CPI for the months of July, August and September. For July and August, the index was 238.654 and 238.316. respectively. In order for the limit to increase, the index for September will have to rise to 251.440, a level never reached. My guess: No change.
  14. In a round about way, it does. Rev. Proc. 2007-71 provides model language for written plan documents that is required by the final 403(b) regulations. The model language in the revenue procedure was written to conform with the new regulations. The regulations were effective July 26, 2007 and generally became applicable for plan years beginning after December 31, 2008. It was the regulations that supercede Rev. Rul. 90-24 (and a host of other guidance that the IRS had provided in prior years!). Hope this helps. By the way, I seem to recall that the revenue procedure was written by Bob Architect. If my recollection is correct, be aware that Bob left the IRS for a more lucrative position elsewhere.
  15. The September CPI was just announced this morning. According to my calculations, which are based on my understanding of the rules for indexing, the deferral limit for 2013 will increase to $17,500. The catch-up will remain at $5,500. However, please keep in mind that these are not official numbers. The IRS should publish the official limits, as well as other related limits, in a few days.
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