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The Best of Both Retirement Worlds?

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Still fantasizing about a corporate tax deduction for a top-heavy benefits plan? One possibility is an age-weighted plan.

Age-weighted plans can make sense when owners and top executives are older and most other employees are younger and transient. "You can rely on actuarial calculations that allow you to make a much higher level of contribution for your older employees," says Aaron Eidelman, a partner at the accounting firm Goldstein Golub Kessler & Co., in New York City. Although age-weighted plans are qualified plans (yielding current tax deductions for all corporate contributions), they can include vesting schedules that tip the balance further in executives' favor. "When employees leave before they're fully vested, their retirement funds get reallocated to other employees' accounts," Eidelman explains.

In the right circumstances, age-weighted plans can provide big benefits to business owners, notes Richard Colombik, a lawyer and accountant whose firm is based in Schaumburg, Ill. So why doesn't Colombik have one? "I'm in my early forties, and two of my administrative staffers are in their sixties," he says. "If I set up one of these plans, I'd be loading it for them."




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