Retirement reform: What lawmakers are missing

By Personal FinanceFOXBusiness

New bill aims to remove age limits on IRA contributions

Ramsey Solutions financial expert Chris Hogan on the proposed changes to IRA accounts and the importance of saving for retirement.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady introduced a bill last week that would raise the IRA contribution age limit for retirees, which may be overlooking a critical piece of the country’s retirement crisis.

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Brady’s bill aims to allow individuals to stash money into IRA accounts after the current age limit – 70.5 – though they would still be required to take mandatory distributions at that age.

“People need opportunities to put more money in earlier,” Ramsey Solutions financial expert Chris Hogan told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday. “The way to grow money is with time and compound interest, so I would love to see the contribution limits increase for people that are in their 20s and 30s to give them an opportunity to be able to build up the money they need for their future.”

For 2019, the Internal Revenue Service raised contribution limits to $19,000, from $18,500, for 401(k) retirement plans. For IRAs, that number – which hadn’t been raised since 2013 – increased to $6,000 from $5,500.

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While there are opportunities for older Americans to stash more cash into these accounts through so-called “catch-up” contributions, Hogan said at that point it may be “too little, too late.” He advises investing 15 percent of income into a retirement account.

The level of funding in an individual’s IRA account could also help boost Social Security checks. According to a study by the Journal of Pension Economics & Finance, more than 34 percent of people that begin taking benefits at the age of 66 had enough funds in their IRA to delay claiming Social Security for two years, while about 25 percent were capable of delaying for four additional years.

Delaying Social Security until the age of 70 could increase a retiree’s lifetime income stream by as much as 32 percent.