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Archive for the ‘Retirement’ Category

South Africas unusual electrical plugs, sockets to be retired – Quartz Africa

Posted: October 19, 2020 at 3:53 am

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If youve ever traveled to South Africa and tried to use your multi-country adapter to recharge your phone or laptop, you may have been surprised that your adapter could not fit into the countrys unique sockets.

South Africa is now putting the electrical plugs and sockets the nation has relied on for generations on the road to retirement. The plugs, which feature three large pins configured in a triangle, are giving way to a compact hexagonal three-pin design, with sockets following suit.

The new plug and socket, which is based on the latest international standard, accommodates the European-type two-pin plugs on cellphone chargers and small appliances, as well as a two-pin plug based on a German design that comes attached to most power tools imported into the country.

Though South Africa has required buildings built since 2018 to have so-called 164-2 type sockets (the number designates the national standard for the new plug and socket type), the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) recently updated the standard to introduce warnings on adapters not permitted to be plugged into one another in order to avoid straining the socket.

Image courtesy South African Bureau of Standards

A proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and small appliances that rely on the two-pin European plug, combined with the need by South Africans to plug their devices into outlets designed for the traditional large-pin plugs (a so-called 164-1 type) found in millions of homes and offices nationwide, fuels a reliance on adapters that raises the risk of short circuiting, fire, and damage to devices.

With the array of appliances and devices that have become commonplace in todays world, it is critical to ensure that the plugs and sockets are also changing to accommodate the more compact designs of plugs, Jodi Scholtz, lead administrator of SABS, said in a statement that elaborates on the update.

Image courtesy South African Bureau of Standards

The ubiquity of 164-1 type sockets together with a deluge of two-pin devices results in the use of adapters-on-adapters in sockets across South Africa and poses a danger to consumers, she explained.

With its ability to accommodate the European-style plugs, the new South African socket will cut down on the number of adapters that people need to power their devices. Unlike its European cousin, the new South African plug adds a third pin to satisfy a national mandate that sockets have protection for earth leakage, which reduces the risk of shock by detecting stray voltage.

The new standard will not eliminate the use of adaptors, however it will reduce the need and enable safer use of them, Scholtz told Quartz Africa. Most foreign visitors will still need to use their adaptors to have devices work, and sockets will be able to accommodate the old type of plugs.

Image courtesy South African Bureau of Standards

The 164-2 plug and socket incorporate safety by design. A pocket in the socket prevents consumers from touching a live pin during insertion. To prevent adapter plugs and switches on the surface of sockets from hindering each other, the new standard creates clearance between them and allows adapters to be plugged in fully. The socket contains a safety shutter that requires insertion of at least two pins to open.

The new standard solidifies a move by South Africa away from the British standards on which South Africas 164-1 type plug and socket are based. The countries standards began to diverge in the 1960s, when the U.K. moved to a flat-pin plug and South Africa declined to follow. India, which also modeled its standards on the British, uses a three-pin plug that resembles South Africas 164-1, but the pins are much smaller.

The shift now underway in South Africa notwithstanding, the millions of 164-1 type plugs in use throughout the country will be sticking around. Sockets will continue to accommodate them, particularly in kitchens, where the plugs come attached to most appliances.

Eventually, consumers will get tired of having all these adapters, predicts Gianfranco Campetti, an electrical engineer and member of the SABS working group that developed the new standard. This is not a 90-minute game. Its going to take time.

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October 19th, 2020 at 3:53 am

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A $5,500 withdrawal from your 401(k) could cost you $30,000 – USA TODAY

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Katie Brockman, The Motley Fool Published 7:00 a.m. ET Oct. 13, 2020

Retirement is becoming more expensive than ever, with the average American expecting to need nearly $2 million to enjoy their senior years comfortably, according to a survey from Charles Schwab.

Because it's crucial to save as much as possible for retirement,that also means avoiding costly mistakes. And there's one blunder that may seem harmless on the surface, but it can cost you tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Your 401(k) is a powerful investing tool, but it's important to use it wisely. When you have thousands of dollars socked away in your retirement fund, it may be tempting to use your 401(k) as a savings account and withdraw some cash here and there for emergencies. However, that can cost you big time in the long run.

Generally, when you withdraw money from your 401(k) before age 59 1/2, you're subject to income taxes and a 10% penalty on the amount you take out. The more dangerous consequence, though, is how much you'll lose in potential investment gains over time when you withdraw from your savings.

Not sure how much to contribute to your 401 (k)?: Make sure to get your full employer match

More: The year is almost over, here's what to do with your 401(k)

Your savings rely on compound interest to grow, and every time you take money out of your 401(k), you're limiting your investments' growth potential. Withdrawing a few hundred or thousand dollars here and there may not seem like it would make a significant difference, but even one withdrawal can potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars over time.

To see just how much a single withdrawal could affect your long-term savings, let's look at an example.

Back in April, when many Americans were raiding their retirement funds due to the coronavirus pandemic, the average withdrawal was $5,500, according to date from Fidelity Investments. The average 401(k) account balance is approximately $104,400.

Say you have $104,400 stashed in your 401(k), and you take a $5,500 withdrawal. Here's how much that one withdrawal could affect your long-term savings, assuming you're earning a 7% annual rate of return on your investments and you're not making any additional contributions.

0 (Today)












Source: Author's calculations

After 25 years, that $5,500 withdrawal can amount to $29,851 in lost potential gains. And if you were to continue saving for more than 25 years, you could potentially miss out on even more money.

It's also important to keep in mind that this is a result of just one withdrawal. If you were to make repeated withdrawals over the years, you'd see an even greater impact on your total savings.

Although tapping your 401(k) may not seem so bad in the short term, it can wreak havoc on your long-term savings especially if you withdraw a lot of cash or make several withdrawals over time. While in true financial emergencies you may have no choice but to raid your savings, try your best to avoid dipping into your 401(k) if at all possible. By leaving your money alone, it will be easier to build a healthy nest egg by retirement age.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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October 19th, 2020 at 3:53 am

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‘Blazing the pathway’: Retired teacher could become Kansas’ first transgender lawmaker – NBC News

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Oct. 17, 2020, 8:30 AM UTC

For over three decades, Stephanie Byers taught music and band at the largest public high school in Kansas. After seeing how decisions made by state lawmakers affected her students, she decided to trade retirement for politics.

They saw a bottom line, a number that needs to be worked with, and didn't think about what that means when a student is staring at a textbook that is being held together by duct tape because it outlived its usefulness and the district didn't have the money to replace textbooks, said Byers, who is running to be the next representative of Kansas House District 86, which includes much of Wichita.

A Democrat who ran unopposed in the primaries, Byers will face off against Republican Cyndi Howerton, a businesswoman, in the November election. While Kansas is largely a conservative state, Byers is a strong contender in Wichita, a progressive enclave that has historically swung left.

If elected, Byers has vowed to fight for increased funding for education and Medicaid expansion in Kansas, one of at least 12 states that have not expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act. She has also made civil rights protections a pillar of her campaign in a state where, according to advocacy group Freedom for All Americans, "there are currently no explicit, comprehensive statewide non-discrimination protections" for LGBTQ people.

When Byers came out as transgender six years ago, she was largely embraced by her students and colleagues, an experience that pushed her to become a trailblazer for trans educators in her school district.

I realized that when I came out as a teacher that I was blazing the pathway, she said. A lot of public educators that are trans may not necessarily come forward and come out during their careers, because the fact that there's the fear of prejudice is going to be there.

As Republican-backed anti-transgender legislation including much designed to keep trans students out of public restrooms and off sports teams proliferated in statehouses across the country, including in Kansas, Byers met with school officials and spoke at community events to educate the public about gender identity.

Last October, she spoke out on behalf of trans educators and students at an American Civil Liberties Union rally outside of the Supreme Court, which at the time was hearing arguments in cases that would determine whether employers had a right to terminate workers because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2018, a year before she retired, Byers was named both state Educator of the Year by GLSEN Kansas and national Educator of the Year by GLSEN, the national LGBTQ youth advocacy organization with chapters across the country.

If Byers wins her election on Nov. 3, she will be the first out transgender lawmaker from Kansas. She is one in a "rainbow wave" of at least 574 LGBTQ candidates who will be on the ballot next month, according to a new report by Victory Fund, a group that trains, supports and advocates for LGBTQ candidates. Byers said politicians who are transgender are seen as novelties, and thats something she hopes to change.

It's a part of who we are. It's part of our identity, but it's not the only thing. There's so many other things we are passionate about as well, she said. It's just a matter of normalizing that enough that it's no longer a thing, and ... it's just a matter of what can we do to serve the communities that elected us?

The candidate, who grew up in neighboring Oklahoma, is a wife, parent of two adult sons and a grandparent of nine children. Shes a member of the Native American Chickasaw Nation and has deep roots in the working class. She said her father, a longtime U.S. Postal Service worker, and her mother, who served as national vice president to the American Postal Workers Union Auxiliary, showed her the struggles that working-class families face.

I'm a parent, I'm the grandparent, and I know the challenges that families face at this time, Byers said, and that's who I want to be a voice for for those families that need somebody who stands up for them.

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Julie Compton is a freelance journalist in Brooklyn, New York. Follow her@julieallmighty

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October 19th, 2020 at 3:53 am

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5 ways HR can help millennials be smarter than their parents about retirement – Employee Benefit News

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Getting younger employees to save for retirement is right up there with getting a finicky child to eat their vegetables. Sure, it's good for them, but it's not always what they want.

Participation rates and average deferral rates in voluntary enrollment plans for workers younger than 35 are well below those of other age groups, indicating that HR teams may need to take extra steps to reach this segment of their employee base, according to data from Vanguard, a leading 401(k) provider.

HR professionals are uniquely positioned to best assist younger workers. The best tack for HR experts to take with millennials in regard to retirement saving is to point out some of the mistakes their parents' generation has made in that area.

These five points listed below can help your younger workforce be better retirement savers than those in their parents generation.

Help employees understand the destination When it comes to saving for retirement, a lot of older workers are clearly lost. Younger workers have an opportunity to do a better job of staying on track.

Vanguards data show the average 401(k) participant within 10 years of retirement age (i.e., between ages 55 and 64) has a plan balance of just $69,097.

That may not provide much help over a retirement of 10 or 20 years.

Caution young staff members that one reason older workers are so badly behind in retirement saving is that they haven't checked first to see where they're going.

A MoneyRates retirement plan survey finds that 71% of workers within 20 years of retirement age still have not done a calculation of how well their savings will hold up over their retirement years.

Encourage your workforce to determine what enough savings is. Inform your staff that it only takes a few minutes to use a retirement calculator to see how much to put aside to meet savings goals. That way, your employees will know where their retirement plan is heading.

Educate employees on how to get debt under control Saving for retirement is undermined when employees are also building up debt at the same time.

Stress that debt costs more than retirement investments are likely to earn, a dollar in debt can more than counteract the benefit of a dollar in savings.

According to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, the typical household still has $69,000 in debt by the time the head of that household is within 10 years of retirement.

Notice that this figure almost exactly matches the previously-mentioned amount that the average 401(k) participant in that age group has. In other words, debt can effectively wipe out a person's 401(k) savings.

So, your teams first step toward educating workers about building a more secure retirement should be to do something many in their parents' generation failed to do: get debt under control.

Teach employees how to spread savings to make the burden lighter Retirement saving is a big job, but younger workers have something very important on their side: time. Emphasize that spreading retirement savings out over 25 to 40 years makes the job much easier.

It gets tougher if young workers do what many of their parents' generation have done--wait and then try to catch up in the last ten years or so until retirement.

The golden rule: Don't leave free money on the table When employers provide a 401(k) match, all staff should understand there's a direct financial incentive to start saving now. Every time employees put money into their 401(k) plan, the employer kicks in some on their behalf.

If employees don't contribute money into the plan, they don't get this money from the employer. There's no going back in future years and reclaiming that extra money the employer would have put in on the workers behalf.

The only way not to miss out on this free money is to contribute each and every year and to contribute enough to get the maximum employer match available.

Show employees the benefits of saving A dollar saved today can equal $10 at retirement age.

Saving money is hard work, but HR professionals can show their employees that it gets easier when they let their investments do the work for them.

The investment returns earned become much more powerful when compounded over a long period of time. Compounding means earning a return not just on the original money invested, but also on the returns earned in other years.

Younger workers must recognize that a dollar invested today could be worth much more than a dollar invested toward the end of their career.

There are many people of older generations who would be a lot better off today if they absorbed each of these five lessons when they were younger.

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October 19th, 2020 at 3:53 am

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Siouxland veterans and service men and women honor retired flags – KTIV

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KTIV) -- Typically the burning of something is meant to completely remove it.

Saturday, fire was a symbol of liberation.

"This retires flags that are no longer serviceable, it honors the flags where they have flown," said Post 307 Commander John Ludwick.

The ceremony proved important for South Sioux City personnel because of what it takes for one of their own flags to get to the point of retirement.

"These flags have served, not only here at home, but overseas, and wherever this flag goes, it gives people hope. So that's why we honor the flags here today and retire them properly," said Ludwick.

Even though the flags are physically destroyed, area veterans and service men and women continue to honor each of them.

"The flag still stands. It's still holds a special place, or it should have, in every American's heart. Because it is liberty, not just freedom, not just democracy, but liberty," said Ludwick.

Once the flags had been completely burned, the ashes were collected, buried at the Siouxland Freedom Park in South Sioux City, and commemorated with a plaque.

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October 19th, 2020 at 3:53 am

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Im 63, my husband is 70, well have $90,000 a year in retirement how can we claim our Social Security benefits? – MarketWatch

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My husband is 70 and I am 63. We both want to retire as soon as our son finishes college, if not before. He is currently a sophomore. We will have approximately $90,000 per year to live on (not including expenses for health insurance supplemental plans). Right now, were in excellent health and have been working to pay off debt and our sons education, which we pay as we go. I have even thought about taking the Social Security survivors benefit and working part time until Im 67. Is that a good option?

Also, wheres the best place to retire to live comfortably and to afford to travel?

Thank you!


See:Im 60, my spouse is 45 can I retire if our expenses are $12,000 a month?

Dear L.B.,

Congratulations on your near retirement! It will certainly be something to celebrate, and that youve already figured out what your retirement income will be is a great start.

I want to focus my answer to your question around the Social Security component. Social Security is such a major factor in Americans retirement plans, but it can be challenging to know how exactly it works and when is the right time to claim benefits.

For example, in your question, you mentioned the survivor benefit, but thats not available to everyone. It may have been a typo, where you meant to say spousal, or it may be that you do qualify. Americans qualify for survivor benefits in a few scenarios, including if they are a widow or widower age 60 or older; a divorced spouse from a marriage that lasted 10 years and who did not remarry before age 60; or a widow or widower at any age caring for the deceaseds child under age 16. Either way, I just want to clarify that there are various forms of benefits associated with Social Security including survivor and spousal and by knowing the difference and which are applicable to your situation, you can find strategies that maximize what you receive.

Spousal benefits can be very confusing, said Kate Gregory, a financial planner and president of Gregory Advisors Inc. As a spouse, youre entitled to 50% of your husbands primary insurance benefit that hed receive at his Full Retirement Age (FRA, which in his case is 66 years old), but he has to have filed for his benefits before you can do so. Hes 70, which means he probably already has, since thats the latest a person can claim retirement benefits and well get to that in a moment.

Now heres where it gets tricky: if your own retirement benefit is higher than 50% of your husbands, youll get your own benefit not the spousal benefit. You dont get both. Youll have to file for retirement benefits and then the Social Security Administration will calculate the benefit for you, analyzing your own versus half of your husbands. Youll either get the equivalent of his half or, if yours is more, your own.

Heres an example, provided by Diane Wilson, founding partner of My Social Security Analyst. If his benefit at Full Retirement Age is $2,000 and your FRA benefit is $800, youd get half of his ($1,000). Youd technically receive a spousal benefit of $200, so that youre getting your benefit plus an additional amount of money to bring you to half of his. The rules are complicated and not easy to understand, she said.

But wait, there are more rules! If you claim Social Security earlier than your Full Retirement Age (in your case, 66 and a few months), you will get less than your full retirement benefit this applies even with the spousal benefit, Gregory said. And if you take the spousal benefit at your FRA and your husband took his benefit after his FRA, which would increase his benefits, youll still only get 50% of what hed get at 66, not whatever hes getting every month now. A beneficiary gets roughly 8% more in her retirement benefit checks for each year she delays claiming Social Security after her FRA, but that figure would not be factored into a spousal benefit. Comparatively, for each year before FRA, the benefit is reduced.

There are caveats, of course, such as if you havent earned enough credits to qualify for the Social Security retirement benefit, in which case, youd only qualify for the spousal. People born before 1954 have the option to file for their spousal benefits and then switch to their own benefit later to take advantage of the 8% delayed credit, but that wouldnt apply to you that could apply to your husband, though.

Also see: You can still claim Social Security spousal benefits even if your spouse is gone

And even after making these decisions, double check that your benefits are correct, said Avani Ramnani, director of wealth management and financial planning at Francis Financial. She once had new clients where the wife was receiving only 30% of her husbands benefit, because she was a few years older than him and had elected her benefit before he had elected his.

You mentioned claiming benefits and working part time. Thats definitely doable, but be aware you may be subjected to the earnings test, said Mike Miller, managing director of Integra Shield Financial Group. For every $2 you earn over $18,240 in 2020, your benefit is reduced by $1. The earnings test is inflation-adjusted every year, and applies for the years before the one in which you reach your FRA. Your benefit will also be adjusted to account for those lost benefits at full retirement age.

Does it make sense to work part-time and collect Social Security early? I would say no unless you need the income due to all the potential reductions in benefits, Gregory said. If you arent going to work, it makes more sense to collect while her husband is alive, especially if her own benefit is less than her spousal.

You also asked about where the best place is to retire and honestly, that depends on a variety of personal factors, including proximity to family and health facilities, taxes, cost of living, weather and entertainment. MarketWatch created a tool that helps readers pick desired qualities in a dream retirement spot maybe it will help you too! Also check out our Where Should I Retire? column that helps people answer this question.

Have a question about your own retirement savings? Email us at

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Im 63, my husband is 70, well have $90,000 a year in retirement how can we claim our Social Security benefits? - MarketWatch

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October 19th, 2020 at 3:53 am

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Retirement investors: Why it’s time to stop using the 4% rule – Fox Business

Posted: September 30, 2020 at 1:51 am

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FOX Business' Charles Payne and Nicholas Wealth Management David Nicholas answer a FOX Business viewer's question of whether to take this year's profits now and then jump back into the market once the election is over. They continue to answer other retirement investing questions on 401(k)s and dividend stocks.

The 4% rule answers a question every retirement investor asks at some point: How much can I afford to withdraw each year from my savings, so that I don't run out of money? While it's great for planning to have an easy answer, there's one big problem: The 4% rule may need to retire before you do.


A financial advisor named William Bengen first published the4% rulein the 1990s. He identified his now-famous safe withdrawal rate after running multiple scenarios against the actual financial market returns and inflation rates between 1926 and 1992. His analysis led to a surprisingly simple conclusion. Even through history's worst crashes and economic downturns, portfolios containing 50% equities and50% bonds did not run out of money for 30 years or more when withdrawals were capped at 4% with annual adjustments for inflation. Since Bengen's initial analysis, othershave replicated his work with more-current data to verify that the rule still holds up.

So, what's the problem? Although the 4% rule may hold its weight on paper currently, the future's likely to bring conditions that haven't been baked into the analysis. One concern is the timeline. People are living longer, and 30 years of solvency may not be enough. To be fair, life spans would have to get a lot longer to break the 4% rule on their own. In many of Bengen's scenarios, the portfolios actually had a higher balance after 30 years thanat retirement.

But there is another issue: The 4% rule assumes future market conditions will be no more extreme than historic ones. The downturns covered in Bengen's analysis did include the Great Depression and the 1973-1974 stock market crash, which admittedly were pretty extreme. Even so, given how 2020 has played out thus far, it doesn't seem wise to assume we won't set new records sometime down the road.


This year has already produced historicallylow bond yields, which fall outside Bengen's analysis. That alone is significant, given that he initially assumed a portfolio with 50% bonds. Plus, 2020 has also delivered some historically significant moves in the equities market. The coronavirus-fueled sell-off in March was the fastest 30% drop in history. As well, the single-day dip on March 16 was theS&P 500'sthird-largest single-day percentage drop in history.

It's these never-before-seen market conditions along with longer life spans that threaten to break the 4% rule.

Unfortunately, when it comes toretirement planning, you have to address the worst-case scenario. It's not enough to be 90% sure you won't run out of money in retirement; you have to be 100% sure. And that level of confidence requires very conservative planning. In today's world, the 4% withdrawal rate may not be conservative enough.


Mathematically, lowering the withdrawal-rate assumption in your retirement plan means you have to save more before retirement or spend less after retirement. And the change can be significant. The table below shows how your target savings balance varies based on 3%, 3.5%, and 4% withdrawal rates, as well as how much income you need from the retirement account in your first year.

As you can see, if you plan to take $40,000 from your retirement savings in the first year, changing the withdrawal rate from 4% to 3% raises your starter-savings needs by more than $300,000. If you want to pull six figures annually from your savings in retirement, you may have to save an additional $830,000.

If you don't want to increase your savings target, you can hope for the best (not recommended as your entire strategy) or plan for a more subdued lifestyle later. If you're on track to save $2.5 million, for example, the percentage-point-lower withdrawal rate lowers your income from $100,000 to $75,000 in that first year.

Over the past 25 years, the 4% rule has helped many retirement investors plan their savings goals and manage their account withdrawals. But as people live longer and the markets outdo historic extremes, a 4% withdrawal rate will be less reliable. Now's the time to think through what your retirement plan looks like with a 3% or 3.5% withdrawal rate instead -- so you have the time to adjust your savings plan as needed.


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September 30th, 2020 at 1:51 am

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Regs on retirement-payment withholding updated – Accounting Today

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The Internal Revenue Service has issued final regulations that update the federal income tax withholding rules for certain periodic retirement and annuity payments made after Dec. 31.

In July, the IRS released a draft of a redesigned 2021 Form W-4P and instructions intended to align with the redesigned W-4. The draft W-4P also proposed a new default rate of withholding on periodic payments that begin after Dec. 31, 2020. Based on comments received on the draft, the IRS will postpone issuance of the redesigned form. Instead, the 2021 Form W-4P will be similar to the 2020 Form W-4P.

The IRS also intends to provide in the instructions to the 2021 Form W-4P and related publications that the default rate of withholding on periodic payments will continue to be determined by treating the taxpayer as a married individual claiming three withholding allowances.

Tax reform provided that the rate of withholding on periodic payments when no withholding certificate is in effect (the default rate of withholding) would be determined under rules prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, if no withholding certificate was in effect for a taxpayers periodic payments, the withholding from the payments was determined by treating the taxpayer as a married individual claiming three exemptions.

The final regulation issued provides guidance for 2021 and future calendar years and specifies that the Treasury and the IRS will provide the rules and procedures for determining the default rate of withholding on periodic payments.

Regs on retirement-payment withholding updated - Accounting Today

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September 30th, 2020 at 1:51 am

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Empower to buy Fifth Third’s $6 billion retirement business – InvestmentNews

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Empower Retirement has inked a deal with Fifth Third to acquire its record-keeping business in a move to expand retirement plan services for the bank, the companies announced Tuesday.

Empower will acquire 476 retirement plans and will provide record-keeping and administrative services for the plans 100,000 participants, with $6.21 billion in assets, on Fifth Thirds platform, according to the announcement.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The transaction with Fifth Third is expected to close in the fourth quarter. When the deal closes, Fifth Third will continue to serve in a plan-level investment advisory capacity and manage $4.2 billion in plan assets.

The deal builds on a 16-year relationship between Empower and Fifth Third. Empower currently provides record-keeping services for Fifth Thirds retirement business through its private-label retirement plan unit, Empower Institutional. Because of this existing relationship, the Fifth Third plans will not require conversions.

Empower currently administers $667 billion in assets on behalf of 9.7 million American workers and retirees through approximately 41,000 workplace savings plans, according to the release.

This is an exciting evolution of the existing 16-year relationship between Empower and Fifth Third, Edmund F. Murphy III, president and CEO of Empower Retirement, said in the release. With the addition of these plans to Empowers platform, we will continue to expand our capabilities for these savers, enhance our financial wellness and advice offerings, and accelerate our value creation for all our stakeholders.

The news comes on the heels of Empower Retirements $1 billion purchase of digital advice firm Personal Capital. The deal, announced in August, will result in Empower bringing Personal Capital in-house, with the robo and human advice firm being rebranded as Personal Capital, an Empower Company.

In September, Empower announced the acquisition of MassMutuals retirement plan business, which is expected to close by the end of the year pending customary regulatory approvals.

[More: MassMutual 401(k) deal wins Empower valuable clients]

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September 30th, 2020 at 1:51 am

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Retirement Savers: 4 Easy Investing Strategies to Implement Now – SCNow

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3. Choose dividend payers for peace of mind

It's easy to plan on riding out market downturns, but it can be hard to stick to that plan. Once you see your portfolio balance take a big hit, you'll naturally want to do something, anything, to stop the losses.

Dividend-paying stocks and funds can help you stay the course in those tough times. Why? Because the good ones keep sending those quarterly payments no matter what's happening with share prices. You're not going to sell off those dividend payers in a panic if they're the only positions working for you. And hopefully, the income can pacify you enough so you don't panic-sell other positions either.

Look to invest in a dividend-paying index fund rather than individual companies. A fund is already diversified and easier to manage over time than a bunch of individual company stocks. One to look at is the Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index Fund (NASDAQMUTFUND: VHDYX) which tracks the FTSE High Dividend Yield Index.

The equities in your S&P 500 index fund or a dividend fund are great for growth and income, but they can be volatile. If you're in the early years of retirement saving, you may not mind a little volatility. But as you get older, it's important to moderate that volatility with assets that are more stable in value, like bonds or bond funds.

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September 30th, 2020 at 1:51 am

Posted in Retirement

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