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Please excuse a silly question from a new fool!

My mother needs to buy back several years in a state
employees pension plan but is having trouble raising
the necessary capital. She has enough in an IRA to
cover the bill but the plan admin has informed her that
they won't accept a rollover check (that the IRS
forbids this type of transfer). I'm not sure I
understand this... Can she take the distribution -
20% withholding, pay off the pension buy back, and
deduct it?

The extra $ she earns in retirement form the comes out
to $315/mo if she buys back the years so I'm thinking
that the $6000 she needs to spend to buy back the years is worth it (19 month recoup not including IRA growth).

It would be worth it to pay the penalty and taxes on
the early IRA distribution (she's 54) to go into the
pension, but we're looking for the least expensive
method. Refinancing her house is an option, but then
it's a comparison between tax/penalty vs. closing costs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

-Don Robin
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[[ My mother needs to buy back several years in a state
employees pension plan but is having trouble raising
the necessary capital. She has enough in an IRA to
cover the bill but the plan admin has informed her that
they won't accept a rollover check (that the IRS
forbids this type of transfer). I'm not sure I
understand this... Can she take the distribution -
20% withholding, pay off the pension buy back, and
deduct it?]]

Mom will generally NOT receive a tax deduction for her "buy back" into the pension plan. Which is why they won't allow you to rollover an existing IRA.

If you decide to cash out the IRA, Mom will be subject to taxes on the distirubtion (the withholding may be 20%, but the tax may be MUCH higher), and may also be subject to an early withdrawal penalty. So using the IRA may be a problem.

As far as being "worth it", all you can do is run the numbers and see if this benefit is worth the tax cost. You might want to run this by a qualified tax pro in order to make sure that your numbers are "right on".

TMF Taxes
Roy

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