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Steven D. Brett, President, Quoted in Article “Stop Juggling That Handful of 401(k)s and IRAs”
by Albert Bozzo, Senior Features Editor

Steven D. Brett, President, was quoted in the article “Stop Juggling That Handful of 401(k)s and IRAs.”

The following is an excerpt from the article:

There’s yet another wrinkle in the new age of retirement and job insecurity — keeping track of all those company retirement savings plans you’ve racked up, along with that IRA you opened years ago, and creating a coherent investment strategy with them.

New Puzzle

Though retirement experts of all kinds are familiar with the problem, no one knows how many Americans are juggling multiple 401(k)s and IRAs. (The Employee Benefit Research Institute, EBRI, has just undertaken a study.)
There’s no shortage of anecdotes, though.

“I’ve definitely met people who have moved jobs and have multiple, 401(k)s and IRAs,” says investment advisor Steven Brett, president of Marcum Financial Services in Melville, NY. (He, by the way, generally recommends consolidation.)

401(k) Exceptions

In a financial context, 401(k)s are more useful vehicles for people who feel they may be in need of money. For instance, you can borrow from your plan without any penalties or taxes, as long as your pay back the money in five years. (It's not permitted with IRAs.)

Similarly, there are tax benefits. Owners can take advantage of so-called early, hardship withdrawals, beginning at 59.5 years for a number of reasons, without penalty.

And if you lose or quit your job between 55 and 59.5 years, you can take an early withdrawal without the usual 10 percent penalty — although you'll still have to pay income tax, on an ordinary-income basis, on the withdrawn sum.

There’s one other tax advantage, but it is valuable to a smaller group of people.

Company stock purchased under a 401(k) plan and then rolled over into an IRA is no longer eligible for tax breaks, says financial advisor Brett.

Click here to read the full article on >>


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