Active employees participating in pretax retirement plans are eligible for in-service distributions at age 59½. For employees who support family members with special needs, in-service distributions offer some unique advantages to outright Roth conversions where taxes are paid with lump-sum funds. These include: (1) use of increased withholding taxes to “pay as you go” versus a lump sum due at the time of conversion; (2) they can be automated and extended until the source of funds is fully converted; (3) increased investment choices; (4) greater control, especially against losses; and (5) the reduction of principal of an in-service retirement account reduces in turn the required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the account when these become due.
Author: Lewis B. Hershey, PhD, MA, is a professor of marketing in the College of Business at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He also serves as a codirector of the EMU Disability Planning & Policy Center and as the director of the EMU Sales Center. Since 2015, his research interests have concentrated on the financial planning needs of individuals and their families with disability issues. His research has appeared in several journals, including the Journal of Financial Service Professionals, Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, Journal of Information Privacy and Security, Health Marketing Quarterly, and Services Marketing Quarterly. A 2009 Paul Mills Scholar, he was previously a financial advisor with American Express and Prudential.
Author: Annemarie M. Kelly, JD, LLM, is an assistant professor in the department of health administration in the College of Health and Human Services at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She is also a founding director of the EMU Disability Planning & Policy Center. She formerly worked as a compliance officer and state administrative manager serving the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in Lansing. She conducts research on health care regulatory compliance, special needs financial planning, disability public policy, and health care informatics. Professor Kelly has been a guest speaker on health law and policy at the local, state, and national levels. She has appeared on television and radio programs, including the NPR Morning Report, NPR All Things Considered, and ABC News Detroit. In 2020, she received the Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Healthcare Award. Her work includes research and advocacy for the protection of vulnerable adults with disabilities against abuse, exploitation, and bullying. Professor Kelly has also testified before the Michigan legislature to support disability rights/health care reforms. A practicing attorney, she is an admitted member of the Michigan State Bar (2014), Illinois State Bar (2014), and Iowa State Bar (2010).
Author: Christina N. Marsack-Topolewski, PhD, LMSW, is an associate professor in the school of social work for the College of Health and Human Services at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Formerly a special education teacher in public school systems, she still serves as a teacher consultant to help support students with special needs and their families. Her research is focused on understanding the needs, experiences, and service delivery systems for caregivers of individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Marsack-Topolewski is a coinvestigator on the Michigan Older Caregivers of Emerging Adults with Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (MIOCEAN) Family Support Project. As an appointee to the National Task Group (NTG) for Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Care Practices, she currently serves on the NTG Steering Committee.
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