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Author: rkmacdonald Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75793  
Subject: Re: Year End Roth Conversions Date: 12/11/2004 2:23 AM
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I wrote:
<<RKMacDonald: One caveat for people over the age of 55: If you establish a Roth by doing a conversion from a Traditional IRA, you have to wait 5 years before you can make penalty-free withdrawals of any of that money, even if that means you will be over 59.5.>>

WPatch replied:
That information is incorrect. The normal IRA rule applies taht you are not subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty if you are over 59 1/2. A special rule for Roth IRAs states that you are not subject to this penalty if the conversion has been in the Roth in excess of 5 tax years. Either/or works in this case, unlike the SEPP excepetion for penalty reductions for traditional IRAs, where you would need to satisfy both 5 years and age 59 1/2.

I don't think what I wrote was incorrect. Here is the exact wording from IRS publication 590:

-- Quote --
A qualified distribution is any payment or distribution from your Roth IRA that meets the following requirements.

It is made after the 5-year period beginning with the first taxable year for which a contribution was made to a Roth IRA set up for your benefit, and

The payment or distribution is:

Made on or after the date you reach age 59½

-- Unquote --

As you can see, my original statement was correct.

Russ
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