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7 key retirement deadlines you won’t want to miss

Taking steps at each of these stages on the road to retirement could potentially help you maximize your income, minimize your taxes and avoid additional early-withdrawal federal taxes.


YEARS BEFORE A TYPICAL RETIREMENT, key dates and deadlines pop up — things like being able to make catch-up contributions to your 401(k) plan and IRA accounts starting the calendar year you turn age 50, or signing up for Medicare Part A at age 65, even if you’re still working. If you aren’t aware of them, they’re easy to miss. Below are seven important stops along the way to retirement readiness.

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Consult your tax advisor, as there are phase-out ranges for IRA contribution deductibility based on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) ranges that are published annually and correspond to your federal tax filing status (married, filing jointly; married, filing separately; or single) and whether you or your spouse participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.


2 The taxable portion of your withdrawal that is eligible for rollover into an individual retirement account (IRA) or another employer's retirement plan is subject to 20% mandatory federal income tax withholding, unless it is directly rolled over to an IRA or another employer plan. If you have not reached age 59 ½, the taxable portion of your withdrawal is also subject to a 10% additional tax, unless you qualify for an exception. Be sure you understand the tax consequences and your plan's rules for distributions before you initiate a withdrawal. Please note: You should consult your financial and tax advisors with specific questions about your personal situation if you are considering a withdrawal from your plan account.


3 For a distribution from a Roth IRA to be federally tax-free, it must be qualified. A qualified distribution from your Roth IRA may be made after a five-year waiting period has been satisfied (this period begins January 1 of the tax year of the first contribution or the year of conversion, if earlier, to any Roth IRA) and you (i) are age 59½ or older, (ii) are disabled, or (iii) qualify for a special purpose distribution such as the purchase of a first home (lifetime limit of $10,000). In situations where the original account owner is deceased and the five-year waiting period has been satisfied, distributions to the beneficiary are also considered a qualified distribution If you take a non-qualified distribution of your Roth IRA contributions, any Roth IRA investment returns are subject to regular income taxes plus a possible 10% additional tax if withdrawn before age 59½ unless an exception applies. A special additional income tax provision applies for converted assets that are not withdrawn in a qualified distribution. If a non-qualified withdrawal is made within five years of the conversion, the earnings withdrawn will be subject to income tax, and the entire withdrawal may be subject to an additional tax unless an exception applies as applicable for conversions. Consult your tax advisor for details.


4 The required beginning date for RMDs is April 1 of the year after you turn age 73 (age 75 if you turn age 74 on or after January 1, 2023). You are required to take an RMD by December 31 each year after that. If you delay your first RMD until April 1st in the year after you turn age 73, you will be required to take two distributions in that year. Failure to take all or part of an RMD results in a 25% additional tax (or 10%, depending on how quickly you take the missed distributions) applicable to the amount of the RMD not withdrawn. Consult your tax advisor for more information on your personal circumstances.


5 Effective January 1, 2024, SECURE 2.0 Act has eliminated RMDs for designated Roth accounts in employer-sponsored retirement plans during the lifetime of the owner. However, you must still take RMDs from designated Roth accounts for 2023, including those with a required beginning date of April 1, 2024.


Merrill, its affiliates, and financial advisors do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.


Bank of America is a marketing name for the Retirement Services business of Bank of America Corporation.


This material should be regarded as educational information on Healthcare and Social Security considerations and is not intended to provide specific Healthcare and Social Security advice. If you have questions regarding your particular situation, please contact your legal or tax advisor.

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