Potential Changes to Retirement Contributions and What They Mean for You

The Financial Guys have been pretty busy, as people worry about potential changes to retirement savings under the proposed tax code reform.

“We get a lot of calls on a lot of things that seem to be driving in the political and investment world,” said Jeffrey Fine, The Financial Guys Corporate Retirement Plans director.

One potential change is reducing the pretax amount one can put into their 401(k) from $18,000, down to $2,400.

Some reports say it would give the government about a billion dollars annually, costing someone thousands.

“This is a ballpark amount, you’re probably talking $2,000 to $3,000 in income tax that you’d be paying collectively if you didn’t have the option of putting money into the 401(k) with pretax dollars,” said Joseph Winter, a certified public accountant and Niagara University accounting assistant professor.

To off-set potentially limiting 401(k) contributions, some federal talks include increasing the amount people can put into another retirement savings account called a Roth IRA. A Roth IRA allows one to contribute after-tax dollars, meaning when they take the money out, they won’t pay taxes on it.

“The median amount of retirement savings right now by most people is around $60,000. If we’re already having issues saving money, I’m not sure if that enhancement with the Roth would be that forthcoming,” said Winter.

Financial Experts say they hope this federal debate gets more people interested in taking a more active role in their own finances and figuring out what’s best for their own retirement.

“It’s all about finding out where you are today, where your true goals and what your dollars are represented by those goals and then ultimately coming up with a path that meets those, not only on the financial side, but we talk a lot about on the comfort side. If you can’t sleep at night, nothing is worthwhile,” said Fine.

But Monday, President Trump tweeted that there would be no change to 401(k) contributions. Republican Congressman Tom Reed said a number has not yet been agreed upon and the discussion is fluid.