IRA Help

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
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IRA Help

Postby riseagainst » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:23 pm


This is my first or second time posting on the site and it has been a long time since I have done so. I am posting with a question regarding Roth IRA's that I am hoping some of you can help me with. I have had a personal Roth that I set up for my self when I turned 20 that I have been slowly adding money to over the years. My job does not offer a 401k or anything because I am in a private sector union. We do however pay into an "annuity" which I am realizing seems to be another Roth IRA. If I am contributing to one through work and one on my own am I subject to penalties? I am sending the max amount to my personal Roth. I am just confused as to what exactly the annuity is. Also I am soon to be married and my fiance has her own Roth that she has had for awhile. Will this cause additional problems? Any information or a point in a good direction would be helpful. Also if anyone can recommend a financial adviser in the central NJ area I would appreciate it, I feel that I may need to sit down with someone to better understand where to invest my money. Thanks in advance.

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Postby mhc » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:36 pm

IRA's are Individual Retirement Accounts. When you get married, your wife's IRA will not interfere with yours because they are Individual accounts. You own yours. She owns hers.

You should read your plan documents at work to understand exactly what you have. If you have difficulty understanding the plan document, speak with your benefits department. Once you have a clear idea what it is, let us know.

By the way, welcome to the forum.

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Postby riseagainst » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:43 am

Thank you for the response,

I believe what we have at work is a variable annuity, and reading through everything I have all I saw was that it is classified under a 404c. I do not believe that it is an IRA because the contributions made last year totaled more then $5000. I was also under the impression that the contributions came out of our post tax dollars but after doing more research I believe they are contributed by our employer pre-tax. My fiance and I are getting married in March and I would like her and I to sit down and evaluate our finances and decide how to best set them up for our future goals. I have been saving somewhat consistently for years but would like us to be on a more precise path rather than just saving money in a bunch of different accounts. Once we have our short and long term goals I will try a new post asking for some advice. Thanks again.

Alan S.
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Re: IRA Help

Postby Alan S. » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:01 pm

I urge you to secure more specific information regarding your plan. Sec 404(c) refers to certain negotiated plans and your reference to union contracts suggests that this may not be a typical plan most of us are familiar with. To add to the confusion, Sec 404(c) of ERISA refers to measures an employer can use to avoid liability for plan investment decisions under ERISA, which is an entirely different issue.

Also, note that if you are married this year, your tax filing status for the entire year will be married, typically filing jointly. If you file jointly, different income limits apply for Roth IRA contributions, and you both are subject to the same income limit. Regular Roth contributions enter the phaseout range at 178k of modified AGI and contributions are eliminated a 188k. If this happens, you can either remove the contributions or recharaterize them as non deductible TIRA contributions, and perhaps use the back door Roth strategy from there.

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Re: IRA Help

Postby Dogs » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:20 pm

As Alan S says, a 404c is not actually your retirement plan, but a set of guidelines regulating your retirement plan. I would also agree that you need to find out more information about your plan.

Your employer's retirement plan is not going to affect your Roth IRA annual contribution limit, if that is what you are worried about.

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Re: IRA Help

Postby riseagainst » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:25 pm

Yeah my main concern was that the annuity would affect my IRA contributions because this is the first year I will be maxing out my IRA. I think that we (my wife and I) are going to have to discuss our filing status with an accountant. She started her own business 2 years ago that she runs out of the home and we need to find out if it will be better for us to file jointly or separate. I am not concerned about the joint income exceeding that amount this year.

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Re: IRA Help

Postby retiredjg » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:42 pm

I think you might find the Wiki helpful. This is a good place to start. There is an incredible amount of information and it might be overwhelming, but if you just start with the simple stuff and move forward bit by bit, you will be amazed at how much you can learn.

Wiki article link: Getting Started

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