What You Need to Know About IRA and 401k Contributions In 2021

What You Need to Know About IRA and 401k Contributions In 2021

The Internal Revenue Service recently reported changes to the 401k and IRA. The agency’s announcements to Congress issues new regulations. Each alteration will impact retirement accounts and 401(k) contribution limits in 2021. Here are a few things Americans need to know regarding their announcement.

Most will want to wait for more detailed information from the IRS before taking any action. It would be best to learn as much as you can about the forthcoming changes. They will likely affect any significant decisions.

What Savers Can Expect
Most 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans, and Thrift Savings Accounts will be within the same framing as before. The current rules would allow people age 50 and over to save money $19,500, or $26,000 out of a traditional IRA. Likely, regulations will not change for SIMPLE retirement accounts. They typically maintain $13,500 contribution limits. The IRS allows individual retirement account contribution limits to remain at $6,000. Additional catch-up contributions for older contributors will also stay at $1,000.

There are a few changes that the IRS has announced regarding IRA and 401k contributions for 2021:
Tax Deduction Phase-outs for Traditional IRA Contributions
Taxpayers will be able to deduct traditional IRA contributions. To qualify, recipients may not participate in employer-sponsored retirement accounts. They also may not make above earnings limits. This change subjects employees to reduced or eliminated deductions. It also includes spouses covered by the same plan as the primary recipient.

There are a few other changes to be aware of when it comes to IRA and 401k contributions. Currently, making both employer and self-directed contributions to both accounts are workable. However, they may no longer be tax-deductible. The IRS will look to cut some of the current restrictions on Roth IRA contributions.

2021 Phaseout Ranges
In 2021, single taxpayers must consider the phaseout range will increase by $1,000. Ranges for spouses who file jointly with coverage from employer-sponsored plans have changed. It is now $66,000 to $76,000 and is set at $105,000 to $125,000. Limits to Couples’ workplace plans that only cover spouses individually are necessary. The traditional IRA contribution will require a higher phaseout range. The changes to IRA and 401k regulations are not necessarily the same for every situation. If separate plans cover both spouses, the range is consistent with 2020, remaining at $0 to $10,000. Look at the IRS publications for the most current regulations. Info regarding other aspects specific to your overall financial situation. 

Roth IRA Contributor Prerequisites
Some of the changes include income limits for Roth IRA contributions. Their income phaseout ranges for 2021 include the following.

Roth IRA phaseout ranges:

• Single and heads of households – $125,000 to $140,000 (an additional $1,000 from 2020)

• Married couples who file jointly – $198,000 to $208,000,

• Married couples filing separately – $0 to $10,000 (unchanged)

Saver’s Credit income limits:

• Low- and moderate-income couples file jointly – $66,000 (an additional $1,000 from 2020)

• Heads of the household – $49,500

• Single individuals / married filing separately – $32,500

Rules for IRA and 401k contributions, when first released, will underline many adjustments. It is up to you to stay updated. If you are curious about what is in store for you, it is always wise to be alert. Remember, tax changes happen every year. The IRS has to release any changes to the public before they become active.

Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/401-k-and-ira-changes-for-2021-where-and-how-can-you-contribute-next-year-11603748200

Tap Your 401(k)? Get Back On Track!

Tap Your 401(k)? Get Back On Track!

While tapping into your 401(k) is not the first choice that you should make, it is sometimes unavoidable. During the most recent economic crisis, you may have needed to withdraw from your retirement funding in order to make ends meet or cover certain types of expenses. The good news is that you can recover from this in the long run with some prudent actions right now.

The first thing you can do is to immediately begin contributing the maximum amount allowable to your 401(k). This will not only maximize your tax savings, but it can also take advantage of the employer match. In fact, when you do not grab every penny that you can from your employer, you are leaving money on the table. Of course, there are limits to the amount that your employer will match.

While your 401(k) investment options are limited to what your employers offer, there are ways to play catch-up to make up for some of what you lost if you had to withdraw from your account.

You can periodically shift between bonds and stocks depending on your feeling about the market. For example, if you are using an 80-20 split between stocks and bonds, you can go 90-10 when the market has dropped, so you can try to time the market. Then, you can reallocate your portfolio when the market rises again. However, we caution against doing that with more than a small part of your portfolio.

If you tapped into your 401(k) by taking a loan, you should pay it back as quickly as possible to recover account value. When you have a 401(k) loan outstanding, that money is not invested in the stock market and earning returns. The hope is that you are able to pay the money back as opposed to a straight withdrawal so you can avoid having to pay taxes on the money you took out of your account.

Finally, another thing that you can do to get your retirement plan back on track is to take advantage of the ability to make catch-up contributions to your 401(k) when you turn 50. The law allows you to give up to make a special contribution beyond the money that you are already allowed to set aside. For 2020, this amount rises to $6,500. While you may not receive an employer match on this money, it is a way to contribute additional money to your retirement from your pre-tax dollars. When you take advantage of catch-up contributions each year until retirement, it could add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your nest egg.

Before you take money out of your 401(k), you should have a plan for getting your retirement back on track. You will need to make sure that you are disciplined and return to saving at the first possible opportunity. The most important thing to remember is that a dollar today grows several times over thanks to the power of compounding. To the greatest extent possible, you do not want to miss out on that. We are here to help guide you to a plan that fits your desired future, contact us today.

What President Elect Joe Biden Could Mean For Your Retirement

What President Elect Joe Biden Could Mean For Your Retirement

During his run for President, President Elect Joe Biden released a 110 page document to shade more light of his economic plan and the implications it has on retirement. So, what does the next 4 years look like for the impact it has on several factors such as the tax code, savings for retirement as well as social security.


Joe Biden’s tax policy plan with regards to retirement involves increment of taxes on the wealthy in a bid to raise revenue. These taxes could be raised from 37%-39.6%. Capital gainers especially those in the stock markets and real estate could also have their tax rates increased. Capital gainers that make about one million dollars in profit, could have their tax rates increased from the current 20 percent to about 39.6 percent which is almost double.

Doing this could help a lot with your retirement savings. This is so because withdrawals for IRA and 401(K) are not subjected to taxes for capital gains. Instead, they are only subjected to regular income taxations.

If you are making an income of a million dollars and have retirement investments that are non-qualified, then you may need to make changes.One way to achieve this is by delaying any withdrawals until when you stop working.


The American social security was in question during the campaign, with experts stating that it might not go beyond 2035. Because of this, President Elect Joe Biden’s policy has put in place measures that will at least work to ensure that it lasts longer and get back on track. Biden plans on doing this using the approaches discussed below:

Expansion of Social Security Benefits

• This plan involves new benefits which is minimum for people who have worked for 30 years. These will be subjected to a poverty level of about 125%.
• The second way the social security benefits will be expanded is using monthly increased benefits for some retirees.
• A 20% increment is also expected for widows and widowers.
• Older retirees are also set to benefit by receiving an increment to cover for their health costs and savings that have gotten depleted. This however applies only to retirees who have at least 20 years of receiving the benefits for social security.

Terminating any kind of social cuts

• The Biden plan will work on doing away with any cuts in social security. This includes cases where the retirement age was raised and only Americans of low income were getting benefits from the program.
• Biden also plans on making it unlawful to repay the loans for federal students using the income from social security.

iii) The “donut-hole” Approach
• Here, Biden plans on subjecting the highest earners to increased taxes.
• For now, only $137,700 of the annual earnings for employees are subjected to taxes for security payroll.
• In Biden’s new plan, earnings that will be exempt from taxes related to social security will be between $137,000 and $400,000. What this means therefore is that any earnings beyond $400,000 will be taxed.


Despite the fact that Biden has put every measure in place to ensure that the social security is expanded and more stable, his plan also reiterates on the importance of making savings either in the IRA OR 401(K).He plans to encourage savings through the following measures…

Creating incentives for Employees and their Employers

• About 40% of the US Economy is accounted for by businesses that are small. These businesses are often quite reluctant about giving their employees benefits for retirement, citing costs and other administrative issues.
• Through the SECURE Act plan therefore, the Biden plans on giving small businesses more tax breaks. This is in a bid to help them organize for a retirement plan for their employees so that they can invest more on their future.
• The Biden plan also called for automatic 401(K) to encourage making savings especially for the employees who are not attached to any sponsored employer plans.

Contributions of Caregivers

• Deferrals of up to a particular amount in one’s account for retirement are often allowed by the current law.
• For instance, the limit for contribution for 401 (K) for this year, 2020 is $19,500.
• Sometimes however, unavoidable circumstances may subject an individual to go for temporary leave.
• During that window period, they may thus be unable to make contributions to the required amounts.
• The Biden plan takes care of such individuals by offering them a chance to bridge the gap when they get back to the workforce. This is achieved by ensuring that their limits for annual contributions are raised, hence enabling them to catch-up comfortably.

401(K) Tax Benefit Equalization

• The Biden plan allows for anyone with deferrals for tax 401(K) to use contributions from pre-tax to rapidly grow their accounts. When it comes to such an individual’s time to retire, they shall use these taxes which will depend mostly on their annual earnings at the given time.
• Biden’s team also worked to ensure that the tax benefits for those with 401(K) accounts are equalized.
• The plan also proposes using a flat tax credit. This will be a major relief especially because the contributions for retirements are tax-deductible. When you file your returns therefore, they will not be considered as income that is taxable.
• The Biden plan will work to ensure that your taxable income is not inclusive of any other tax credits. What this means is that irrespective of the fact that your full salary will be taxed, your tax bill will be exclusively dependent on the contribution you have in your 401(K) account.

Does your plan meet all your retirement needs? Schedule an appointment now with one of our advisors for a complimentary review of your retirement plan.

2020 May Be A Good Time For A ROTH

2020 May Be A Good Time For A ROTH

Even during difficult financial times, opportunity can come knocking at your door. There is very little
doubt that the current COVID19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, affecting almost
every individual in its path. With that said, certain events have made 2020 the year to strongly consider
converting any eligible investment accounts into a Roth Individual Retirement Account?

Does a Roth Conversion Make Sense for Retirees?

Under normal circumstances, the conversion of a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA would make little sense
for a retiree with other sources of income. They would be required to pay taxes on the conversion
amount as they take pretax dollar contributions and convert them into a Roth IRA where contributions
are normally taxed upfront with no tax obligation upon withdrawal.

Thanks to the CARES Act, a waiver has been issued for retirees, waving the requirement for them to
take mandatory retirement distributions for the year 2020 only. They can use that waiver as an
opportunity to convert their normal annual distributions from other IRAs and 401K accounts into Roth
IRA contributions without having to pay the taxes normally associated with doing so. That adds up to
tax savings on the amount converted based on the individual’s applicable tax rate for 2020.

How High Earners Can Benefit From Roth Conversions

Under normal circumstances, a Roth investment would offer little value to high earners. Anyone
making over $139,000, or $206,000 if married and filing jointly would actually not be eligible to
benefit from a direct investment in a Roth IRA. This rule also applies to anyone who has no reported

However, there are a couple of ways high earners can benefit from a Roth conversion in 2020. First, it’s
worth noting that President Donald Trump signed a tax bill in 2017 that slashed U.S. tax rates to its
lowest levels in decades. This offers high earners an opportunity to take the tax hit on conversions at
2020 rates, knowing the future income they will earn from their Roth investments will be tax-free when
taking distributions during retirement.

The benefit would be realized if tax rates are higher in subsequent years, which is entirely possible if
Trump loses the 2020 election. With the country closing in on $27 trillion in National Debt, a new
administration would certainly consider increasing tax rates across the board. That would leave 2020 as
the last year a high earner could take advantage of current tax rates under this particular scenario.

Second, there is a “trick” high earners can use to get access to a Roth IRA. By law, there are no current
income restrictions on contributions someone can make to a traditional IRA. There are also income
limits or earnings requirements related to Roth conversions. Strategically, they could invest in a
traditional IRA and subsequently convert that amount to a Roth. That would leave them with future
earnings that would not be subject to income tax. Investment experts refer to this strategy as a
“backdoor” Roth IRA.


As indicated in the opening paragraph, we are living in extraordinary times. As an investor preparing
for retirement, it is incumbent on you to stay abreast of opportunities that might arise to give you
certain tax advantages.

As Congress contemplates how to keep the U.S. economy from flatlining, there will likely be more
favorable tax legislation coming out in the next few months. Under the right circumstances, investment
options like Roth IRAs might become more appealing. This is the time to keep your eyes open for good
opportunities to take advantage of difficult times.

Does your plan meet all your retirement needs? Schedule an appointment now with one of our advisors for a complimentary review of your retirement plan.

Doug Ybema- Grand Rapids Office

Randy Knapp- Okemos Office