Self-Study Course Details
Federal tax policy is designed to accomplish numerous goals, from funding government to encouraging socially-beneficial actions such as saving for retirement. ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, was created principally to meet the latter objective.
ERISA created an individual retirement arrangement—usually referred to simply as an IRA—to encourage taxpayers who were not participants in an employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan to save money to fund their future retirement needs. That was the initial legislative action. In order to participate, you needed to be employed and not a participant in a pension, profit-sharing or other qualified plan.
These early ERISA provisions offering tax benefits to individuals funding IRAs have been extended in subsequent legislative actions to:
- Unemployed spouses;
- Qualified retirement plan participants; and
- Taxpayers preferring tax-free distributions instead of deductible contributions.
Early expansion of the IRA provisions added a spousal IRAthat is designed to provide retirement assistance to uncompensated homemakers. It was also expanded to allow employees who are covered under an employer-sponsored qualified pension or profit-sharing plan to contribute to an IRA.
Since that earlier ERISA expansion related to IRAs, new IRAs have been added, including Roth IRAs that offer tax-free qualified distributions rather than deductible contributions. In order to differentiate the newer Roth IRA from its earlier cousin, the original IRA is now referred to as a “traditional” IRA.
- Apply the rules governing eligibility for and contributions to traditional and Roth IRAs
- Identify the requirements and benefits related to a spousal IRA
- Apply the tax treatment rules concerning contributions to and distributions from traditional and Roth IRAs
- Distinguish between traditional and Roth IRA distribution rules
Paul J. Winn CLU ChFc is a financial writer, editor and trainer in the insurance industry. Past positions have included product developer, compensation officer, marketing VP, VP of strategic planning as well as being President of Maryland Financial Corporation. Mr. Winn has served on multiple Insurance Industry Boards including Baltimore Chapter of CLU and ChFC and Member/Secretary, Advisory Board to New York State Insurance Department. He is well known as a writer and editor of major mutual life insurance company’s agent-training ”university” and has created more than 100 training/continuing education courses. He is also a published book author.
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