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Employers’ role in ensuring retirees understand income tax complexities

The complexities of income tax at retirement can come as a shock to pensioners, but most plan sponsors are providing limited assistance in helping their retiring employees deal with these issues.

“In our experience, much of the communication and education provided by employers/sponsors or their plan record keeper focuses on basic retirement and investment knowledge, not necessarily on tax issues,” says Debbie Patton, a consultant in the investment and retirement practice at Accompass Inc. “Recently, there has been more focus on providing information related to decumulation, but again, there is more focus on the products that are available to members with respect to the payout phase, as opposed to tax issues associated with collecting retirement income.”