The ins and outs of inherited retirement plans
Abstract: Retirement plan withdrawals are generally subject to income tax. So if your estate includes substantial sums in such plans, understanding the tax implications for your beneficiaries can help you plan accordingly. Planning is particularly important if you’ve designated someone other than your spouse as the beneficiary of your 401(k) or similar retirement plan (or you’re the nonspouse beneficiary). The tax code permits nonspouses to stretch plan distributions — and the resulting taxes — out over their own life expectancies through a “nonspousal rollover,” but not all plans offer this option. This article looks at the minimum distribution rules and post-death distributions associated with inheriting a loved one’s retirement plan.