From Our Partners at PAI: The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act has been a topic of discussion for weeks as legislators discussed the best way to give Americans a much-needed boost as the economy has faltered due to the Coronavirus. Signed into law in late March, there are several provisions that will help students, workers, and retirement plan participants to maintain more financial stability during this challenging time.
CARES Act changes retirement plan provisions for loans and tax-advantaged withdrawals
Retirees and workers alike have likely been groaning when looking at stock values over the last several weeks. While it takes some time for market volatility to level out, these provisions included in the CARES Act may provide retirement plan participants with additional flexibility and more options for loans and penalty-free withdrawals during this stressful time.
PENALTY-FREE WITHDRAWALS FROM RETIREMENT PLANS
Workers who are experiencing financial difficulty due to the effects of COVID-19 on their careers, health, and overall financial wellness will be able to take a penalty-free distribution from a retirement account, like a 401(k) or IRA, between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Under normal circumstances, there is a 10 percent penalty tax added to the taxes paid on distributions from a retirement plan before a participant reaches age 59 1/2. However, the CARES Act includes a provision that allows eligible participants to take up to a $100,000 distribution from a retirement account without the addition of the 10 percent tax that normally accompanies an early withdrawal. This tax-favored withdrawal may be repaid to an eligible retirement plan within three years of taking the distribution, with the option to repay beyond the normal annual contribution limits.
Eligible participants for a coronavirus-related distribution are those who have been diagnosed with the virus (or have a spouse or dependent diagnosed), experience adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, unable to work, laid off, or those who had work hours reduced due to the virus.
TEMPORARILY INCREASED LIMIT ON RETIREMENT PLAN LOANS
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“Every decade or so, dark clouds will fill the economic skies, and they will briefly rain gold. When downpours of that sort occur, reach for a bucket.” —Warren Buffett
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