401(k) After-tax Accounts: Preparing your checklist

 In my last blog, I answered four common questions about an after-tax 401(k). If you’ve decided that this savings options might be right for you, your next step is to sit down with your financial advisor.

Getting ready: A checklist for the meeting

Your financial advisor can help you review your plan documentation to establish whether you have an after-tax contribution option; and, if so, whether it would make sense for you to set aside some of your pay on an after-tax basis. Before you meet with your financial advisor, you may want to gather some important information and documents:

  • The most recent statement from your 401(k) plan
  • Any plan documentation you may have, such as an SPD (your human resource department can provide a copy or you may be able to access it online)
  • The telephone numbers of your current and former employer’s benefits administrators so you and your financial advisor can confirm information
  • Any retirement income planning documents you may have accumulated
  • The contact information for your tax advisor should you have any tax-related questions

First, review your plan documentation with your financial advisor to establish whether you have an after-tax contribution option. Then determine with your tax advisor whether you should make after-tax contributions to your 401(k) plan and/or proceed with a conversion. Be sure to discuss any potential tax and penalty implications, as well as expenses and sales charges that may result from your decisions.

Rolling after-tax savings into a Roth IRA

Explore whether a conversion of all or a portion of your after-tax account to a Roth IRA or designated Roth account would be a strategy that advances your retirement savings and income planning goals.

If you decide to make after-tax contributions and/or execute a conversion of all or a portion of your after-tax account, work with your financial advisor to execute the proper documentation and authorizations. And, as always, we’re here to answer any questions that may crop up as you consider making contributions to an after-tax 401(k) plan.

Matthew E. Chope, CFP ® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Matt has been quoted in various investment professional newspapers and magazines. He is active in the community and his profession and helps local corporations and nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning and money and business management decisions. In 2012 and 2013, Matt was named to the Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine.

Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.

The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc. and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Converting a traditional 401(k) into a Roth IRA has tax implications. An investor should carefully consider the source of funds used to pay the taxes owed on a Roth conversion. Penalties and taxes may apply if the investor uses money from the 401(k) as the source for conversion taxes. Consult a tax professional for details. C14-016529