The Weekly Scenario: Options to Consider When Faced With Retirement


Steve Shane

Question: What are my options when I retire in terms of rollover planning of my employer retirement plan?

Answer: When an individual faces retirement or otherwise has access to his or her retirement plan funds, there are a number of options which the client will need to consider, including:

1. Leaving the funds in the existing plan
2. Moving the funds to a new or alternate employer plan
3. Rolling the funds over to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
4. Converting the funds to a Roth IRA
5. Completing a Roth conversion within the plan itself; and
6. Taking a lump sum distribution from the plan

Each individual and each plan must be evaluated on its own merits. These are often not easy decisions as there are a whole host of factors to consider, including, but not limited to, available investments, penalties and fees, estate planning, asset protection, services provided and even overall convenience.

Comment: The fact that there are many options to consider makes it a challenge for advisors acting as fiduciaries in evaluating which rollover option may suit the client the best. Clearly not an easy task and the result can have a significant impact on a client’s retirement goals.


Steve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.

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