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February is Financial Aid Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Education has named February Financial Aid Awareness Month. This is the time of year when many families file the FAFSA (the government’s aid application) and the CSS Profile (the standard college aid application).

We offer a variety of materials that you can use to educate your clients and prospects about financial aid:

Login to Forefield.com to view full versions of the following content:

Financial Aid for College
Financial Aid 101
ABCs of Financial Aid
529 Plans and Financial Aid Eligibility

New Video Highlights Changes to Social Security and Medicare

Bipartisan Budget Act Impacts Medicare and Social Security

Changes are coming to Social Security and Medicare in 2016, thanks to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 that passed in November. The legislation effectively eliminated two Social Security claiming strategies: file and suspend and restricted application. It also limited the increase in Part B medical insurance premiums that some Medicare beneficiaries faced in 2016.

We’ve created a video that you can use to inform clients about these changes. Log into http://www.forefield.com to view.

Upcoming changes to Social Security claiming rules

Many people were surprised when Congress eliminated two popular Social Security claiming strategies, “file and suspend” and “restricted application for spousal benefits,” in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 which became law on November 2. Clients who are already concerned about their retirement income strategies may wonder whether they are affected by the new rules and what opportunities they still have when claiming Social Security benefits. Fortunately, some clients still have a limited window of time to take advantage of these two claiming strategies.

To explain the new rules, we’ve created an alert in a question-and-answer format that you can send to clients and prospects to inform them about upcoming changes to Social Security claiming rules.

Log in @ http://www.Forefield.com for complete Q&A

IRA contribution limits & Traditional IRA deduction limits for 2016

IRA contribution limits
The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA in 2016 is $5,500 (or 100% of your earned income, if less), unchanged from 2015. The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older remains at $1,000. (You can contribute to both a traditional and Roth IRA in 2016, but your total contributions can’t exceed these annual limits.)

Traditional IRA deduction limits for 2016
The income limits for determining the deductibility of traditional IRA contributions in 2016 are unchanged, except for one instance: if you’re not covered by an employer plan but your spouse is, and you file a joint return, you can fully deduct your IRA contribution in 2016 if your MAGI is $184,000 or less (up from $183,000 in 2015).

If your 2016 federal income tax filing status is: Single or head of household, your IRA deduction is reduced if your MAGI is between: $61,000 and $71,000. Your deduction is eliminated if your MAGI is: $71,000 or more.

If your 2016 federal income tax filing status is: Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)*, your IRA deduction is reduced if your MAGI is between $98,000 and $118,000 (combined). Your deduction is eliminated if your MAGI is $118,000 or more (combined).

If your 2016 federal income tax filing status is: Married filing separately, your IRA deduction is reduced if your MAGI is between $0 and $10,000. Your deduction is eliminated if your MAGI is $10,000 or more.

*If you’re not covered by an employer plan but your spouse is, your deduction is limited if your MAGI is $184,000 to $194,000, and eliminated if your MAGI exceeds $194,000.

The full document with Roth IRA and Employer Retirement Plan limits is available to subscribers at http://www.foremostadvice.com.

New Alert Updates Clients on European Debt Situation – July 10, 2015

We’ve created a Client Alert that discusses Greece and the European debt situation and the implications for financial markets in general. It reviews how the situation got to this point, the potential scenarios for Greece and Europe, and how the markets might be affected going forward. To read more, visit http://www.forefield.com

Broadridge Alert: New Client Alert provides an overview of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 201

On April 16, 2015, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) became law. This act changes certain Medicare provisions and extends funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This new law enhances health-care quality and cost control initiatives. It also authorizes and funds the removal of Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards, offering greater protection to individuals whose Medicare cards are lost or stolen. Moreover, the act subsidizes Medicare premiums as well as adjusts income-related premiums for Medicare Parts B and D. These new income limits (thresholds) will take effect in January 2018, subjecting some Medicare beneficiaries to higher income-related premium adjustments.
But in the meantime, clients and their families may be interested in specific details, so we’ve created a Client Alert that provides an overview of the new legislation.
Log in to forefield.com to read the full Client Alert and distibute to your clients and prospects.

Department of Labor Proposes New Fiduciary Rules for Advisers

On April 14 the U.S. Department of Labor released its much-anticipated proposed rules detailing how ERISA’s fiduciary obligations apply to those providing investment advice to IRA owners and qualified plan participants.
In its news release announcing the new rules, the DOL stated: “Under the proposals, retirement advisers will be required to put their clients’ best interests before their own profits. Those who wish to receive payments from companies selling products they recommend and forms of compensation that create conflicts of interest will need to rely on one of several proposed prohibited transaction exemptions.”
These new proposals are likely to garnish as much attention and comment as the DOL’s last attempt to redefine the fiduciary rules back in 2010.
To read the new proposed rules, visit http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/conflictsofinterest.html


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