Advertisement
IRAs

Protecting Retirement Accounts from Creditors

Degrees of legal protection differ for 401(k)s and IRAs.

With debt burdening many Americans, preretirees and retirees should understand the creditor protections for retirement accounts before raiding those accounts through loans or withdrawals. Those protections can help preserve hard-earned savings even after suffering a tough financial squeeze.

But the rules for those protections vary by account type, which IRA expert Ed Slott and his team explained at Slott’s recent two-day workshop in National Harbor, Md. Company retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, are the most secure because federal law protects them from creditors. IRAs also provide federal creditor protection in bankruptcy situations only for up to $1,362,800 of IRA contributions and earnings in 2019 (that threshold adjusts for inflation). IRA money rolled over from company plans receives unlimited bankruptcy protection.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In most cases, state law dictates creditor protection for IRAs when it comes to other judgments. Someone who has significant concerns about creditor protection might consider leaving money in a company plan instead of rolling it over to an IRA.

Regardless, before doing a rollover, it’s a good idea to check the protections that the law provides in your state. Some states offer limited or no creditor protection. To ensure the unlimited bankruptcy protection for rollovers, keep good records or roll a company plan into an IRA separate from other IRAs you own.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

How To Buy a Roth IRA When You Make Too Much To Qualify For One
Roth IRAs

How To Buy a Roth IRA When You Make Too Much To Qualify For One

With their tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals, Roth IRAs are a great deal — if you qualify. If you don’t, well, there’s still a way to get into …
September 23, 2020
Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check

The deadline for seniors and veterans to request an additional $500 stimulus check for a dependent child is approaching fast. See how you can claim yo…
September 25, 2020
High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place
Caregiving

High-Tech Aids for Aging in Place

Apple Watch and other technology provides fast feedback, comfort for older users, and a powerful assist for caregivers.
September 23, 2020

Recommended

HSA Limits and Minimums
health savings accounts

HSA Limits and Minimums

Annually adjusted contribution limits and other requirements must be met if you're covering health care costs with a Health Savings Account.
September 21, 2020
Don’t Be Paralyzed by Uncertainty
retirement planning

Don’t Be Paralyzed by Uncertainty

You definitely need a plan, because what’s ahead could be scarier than what’s behind us.
September 21, 2020
Insurance for Long-Term Care at Home
retirement

Insurance for Long-Term Care at Home

In the wake of COVID-wracked nursing homes, increasingly more people are looking at options to age in place with long-term care insurance.
September 17, 2020
Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know
Medicare

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know

There's Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans and so on. We sort out the confusion about signing up for Medicare --…
September 16, 2020