Although 401(k) plans are commonly recognized for the ability to delay taxes, some plans do permit contributions to be made after taxes have been paid. When you retire or switch employment, you may move money from an after-tax 401(k) account into a tax-free Roth IRA without incurring any penalties. Because interest, dividends, and gains on investments often aren’t subject to taxation, having your money in a Roth IRA may be a tax-smart move in the long run.
However, in order to roll over your after-tax 401(k) earnings in the right manner, you are required to follow certain criteria. The following is a list of problems and questions that often arise about the operation of this particular sort of rollover.
Rolling Over Tax-Free Money Into a Roth IRA, According to the IRS’s Rules
Many years passed during which the tax and financial planning communities were unsure as to whether or not after-tax contributions from a corporate plan could be legitimately rolled over into a Roth IRA. In September of 2014, a judgment from the IRS provided clarity on this matter. The answer is unequivocally “Yes” in this case. It is permissible for you to transfer the after-tax contributions that you have made to a qualifying business retirement plan into a Roth individual retirement account.
However, there is a catch to this. You are required to roll over your pre-tax contributions to your 401(k) in an amount that is comparable to what you have already contributed to your fund. Your rollover distributions will always be 10 percent after-tax and 90 percent pre-tax if your 401(k) has $200,000 in it, and 10 percent of that includes after-tax contributions. However, if your 401(k) has less than $200,000 in it, your rollover distributions will always be 10 percent after-tax and 90 percent pre-
Your plan administrator will write two checks in order to effectuate the rollover of after-tax 401(k) assets into a Roth IRA. One check will be written for the after-tax contributions, and the other check will be written for the money that was contributed before taxes were taken out. You have the option of directing the money that was contributed after taxes to go into a Roth IRA, while the money that was contributed before taxes may be rolled over into a standard IRA. On the documentation pertaining to the distribution of your 401(k), you would indicate which account should be used for each kind of contribution.
Avoiding Rollover Mistakes
When you reach retirement age, you want to avoid any unpleasant tax shocks, therefore it is imperative that you follow all of the laws regarding rollovers. Before submitting any documentation to the administrator of your plan, make sure you have carefully read through all of the paperwork, and verify account numbers twice before making any deposits.
You may find out how much of your 401(k) should be in funds that are after taxes by looking at the most current statement. Check the amount of the check that you want to deposit into your Roth IRA to be sure it is close to the same amount.
Alternative Rollover Schemes
If you are retiring or leaving your current employer, you do not have to rely only on a Roth IRA for your retirement savings. You have the option of transferring the money into a typical individual retirement account (IRA), transferring it into the 401(k) plan of your new employer, or leaving it where it is. Because 401(k) plans are portable, there is no need for you to take any action with the money until you are ready to do so. Once you initiate the transfer procedure, the clock that counts down to sixty days will start ticking.
Before you start the process of rolling over the money, make sure you take your time, consult with a financial counselor, and find out the most effective manner to do it. It is not necessary to carry it out as soon as you part ways with the organization, particularly if you have a significant amount of money saved up.
What Happens to Your Money If You Make a Deposit in the Wrong Account
When you get a rollover check, you have a period of sixty days during which you must deposit the cash into the account that is suitable. If you miss the 60-day period for rolling over your funds, the rollover won’t be considered valid. It will thereafter be subject to taxation.
In the absence of a serious mistake on the part of your financial services business, it is quite unlikely that you will be granted an exception to the 60-day rollover time limit. It is essential to not only have a distinct strategy for the destination of your rollover cash but also to ensure that your financial adviser or plan administrator is aware of the precise destination of the money.
Are there restrictions on the amount that may be contributed to 401(k) plans?
In 2022, the maximum contribution that may be made to a 401(k) plan is $20,500. This is an increase over the previous year’s salary of $19,500 in both 2020 and 2021.
Contributions to a 401(k) plan are made in the following ways:
A qualifying profit-sharing plan, such as a 401(k), is offered by businesses to their employees. Contributions deducted from your paychecks before taxes are used to finance it. Your tax withholding is determined by the amount of your paycheck that is still available to you after the deductions have been made. Additionally, your employer may make a deposit into your retirement account.