Pay attention to the required minimum distribution rules for traditional IRAs.
- Individuals 72 and older must take annual withdrawals or pay a 50% penalty. To arrive at the 2021 RMD amount, start with your IRA balances as of Dec. 31, 2020, and use the tables in IRS Pub. 590-B. The amounts can be taken from any IRA you pick.
- The same rules apply to 401(k)s and similar workplace retirement plans…with two exceptions: First, people who work past 72 can delay RMDs from their current employer’s 401(k) until they retire, provided they own no more than 5% of the firm that employs them. Second, for people with multiple 401(k)s, 403(b)s and the like, the required minimum distribution must be taken from each account.
- If 2021 is your first RMD year, you have until April 1, 2022, to take the RMD. The distribution will still be based on your total IRA balance as of Dec. 31, 2020. If you opt to defer your first RMD to 2022, you will be taxed in 2022 on two payouts: The one for 2021 that you deferred and the RMD for 2022. This doubling up would hike your 2022 income and could push you into a higher income tax bracket.
Many key dollar limits on retirement plans will be higher in 2022
- The maximum 401(k) contribution rises to $20,500. People born before 1973 can contribute an extra $6,500. These limits also apply to 403(b) and 457 plans. The cap on SIMPLEs ticks up to $14,000. People 50 and up can put in $3,000 more.
- Retirement plan contributions can be based on up to $305,000 of salary.
- The paying limitation for defined-contribution plans increases to $61,000.
- Anyone making over $135,000 is highly paid for plan discrimination tests.
- The 2022 paying cap for traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs remains $6,000, plus $1,000 as an additional catch-up contribution for individuals age 50 and older.
- But the income ceilings on Roth IRA pay-ins go up. Contributions phase out at AGIs of $204,000 to $214,000 for couples and $129,000 to $144,000 for singles
- Also, deduction phaseouts for traditional IRAs start at higher levels, from AGIs of $109,000 to $129,000 for couples and $68,000 to $78,000 for single filers. If only one spouse is covered by a plan, the phaseout for deducting a contribution for the uncovered spouse starts at $204,000 of AGI and ends at $214,000.
- More low-income retirement savers will qualify for the savers’ credit in 2022. The break is for certain individuals who stash money in an IRA 401(k), 403(b), SEP or similar retirement plan. The maximum saver’s credit of $2,000 for joint filers and $1,000 for others is capped at 50%, 20% or 10% of contributions, depending on AGI. For 2022, it fully phases out at AGIs over $34,000 for single filers, $51,000 for heads of household and $68,000 for married couples filing jointly.
- Retirees rehired by their former employers won’t disqualify a pension plan, the Service reminds employers. A rehire because of unforeseen circumstances, such as the coronavirus pandemic, won’t jeopardize the bona fide retirement status of the individual’s former retirement. So, for example, public school districts seeking to address urgent hiring needs can rehire former teachers and other staff who have retired and have begun receiving pension benefits. Also, if the plan permits, those employers may continue receiving the benefits even after they are rehired.
- There’s also this pension rule to help keep older workers on the job: Employees who are at least age 59 or the plan’s normal retirement age can continue to work for the employer and receive in-service pension benefits.