IRS to Require Retirement Plans to Offer Non-Spousal Rollovers to IRAs
Beginning in 2008, retirement plans (such as 401(ks) must allow non-spouse beneficiaries to roll over to an IRA. The following is from Ed Slott, CPA:
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 included a provision that would permit non-spouse plan beneficiaries to do direct transfers from the plan to a properly titled inherited IRA and take stretch distributions over their lifetimes instead of being subject to the harsh payout rules of most company plans. This provision became effective in 2007.
The purpose of the provision was to allow non-spouse plan beneficiaries the same ability to stretch post-death distributions over their lifetime as if they inherited from an IRA. That was the plan. But in January 2007, IRS issued Notice 2007-7 which stated that the provision was not mandatory for plans. This created confusion and controversy and took the wind out of sails of this provision. This was contrary to what Congress intended. Congress realized this and has proposed a technical correction to the law stating that the plans MUST allow the non-spouse direct rollover to an inherited IRA.
In light of the pending Congressional technical correction, IRS reversed its position and now says that the non-spouse rollover provision will be mandatory beginning in 2008.