Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

The IRA at 40: Has it lived up to its promise?

Forty years after it was launched, the IRA has turned into a major retirement vehicle for Americans, but the account is no longer the same as it was when first introduced in 1974, according to experts. The retirement account now serves as "a bridge from the employer plan to retirement," Craig Copeland, an expert with the Employee Benefit Research Institute. For Catherine Collinson, president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, “[t]his simplistic savings vehicle has become quite complicated” and “such complexity can be counter-productive and a deterrent to saving.” –Forbes

3 smart ways to maximize your Roth IRA

People can get the most of their Roth IRA if they max out their contributions to the account, says Selena Maranjian, an expert with The Motley Fool. Another strategy to maximize the benefits of a Roth IRA is to convert current 401(k) and traditional IRA assets into Roth, as there are no more limit and income restrictions when making a Roth conversion, says Dan Caplinger. Clients with a Roth IRA should also focus on investing in high-quality dividend growth stocks, adds Matt Frankel, another contributor to The Motley Fool. –The Motley Fool

How to avoid being forced out of your 401(k)

Workers who intend to transfer to another company and will leave money from their employer-sponsored retirement 401(k) plan need to update their contact details on the plan and give the plan clear instructions on what to do with the money after they leave the firm, according to this article in U.S. News & World Report. This will enable them to avoid being forced out of the plan. Also, they are advised to know company policy on 401(k) accounts of resigned employees, consolidate all their 401(k) plans, and aim for bigger balances to curb the possibility of being forced out of the plan. –Yahoo Finance

Inactive 401(k) accounts need greater protections

The federal government need to implement measures aimed at protecting forced transfers out of 401(k) assets as well as accounts that are inactive, writes Alicia H. Munnell, director of Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. While the plan has the fiduciary obligation to preserve the rolled balances' dollar value, the assets are invested in a money-market fund and decline in time because of hefty fees, Munnell says. Since the U.S. has no central pension registry, some accounts are lost as companies undergo restructuring and decide to terminate, merge, or rename their 401(k) plans, the expert adds. –MarketWatch

How much you can contribute to retirement plans in 2015

Retirement investors can contribute up to $18,000 to their 401(k), 403(b), 457 and the Thrift Savings plans this year, up by $500 compared with the limit set last year, according to this article on Kiplinger. The contribution limit for IRA is unchanged at $5,500 for those below 50 and $6,500 for 50 and above. Income limits for a Roth IRA will also increase to $131,000 for single filers and $193,000 for those filing jointly. The income limit for the retirement savers’ credit will also be raised to $61,000 for joint filers and $30,500 for those filing individually. –Kiplinger

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