Retirement Industry Trust Association Welcomes Dialogue Leading to Increased Investor Education and Clarification from GAO Recommendations

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Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) concurred with GAO’s recommendations that more guidance and information would benefit retirement account owners; particularly in the areas of understanding prohibited transactions, tax liability and how to determine fair market value of a wide range of investments not traded on market exchanges.

Retirement Industry Trust Association - RITA

Check Before You Invest Report

"SDIRAs allow Americans to maximize their investment choices in their retirement plans and invest in things they understand, like real estate and private equity," says Mary Mohr, Executive Director, RITA.

The Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) recently worked with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in their review of the self-directed IRA industry (SDIRA). RITA concurred with GAO’s recommendations that more guidance and information would benefit retirement account owners; particularly in the areas of understanding prohibited transactions, tax liability and how to determine fair market value of a wide range of investments not traded on market exchanges.

"SDIRAs allow Americans to maximize their investment choices in their retirement plans and invest in things they understand, like real estate and private equity," says Mary Mohr, Executive Director, RITA. According to Mohr, SDIRAs have been proven to have a positive impact on the economy as they put IRA capital dollars to work to create new companies, new jobs and support housing and commercial real estate development.

RITA member firm’s investor, Joe L. Mendez, had been a Fortune 500 sales consultant for 20 years. In 2008 he was forced to retire at age 50, a casualty of mass layoffs at the company. On top of that his 401k lost $150,000 in value, and it kept losing ground. “Finally, I took control of my 401K. I had a new career in real estate and bought an investment condo in 2010. I understood the market and could see it was the right decision. The rent from the investment condo goes right back into my IRA like a monthly contribution. Plus I have the equity of the investment. I’ve tripled my 401k and now I don’t have to worry,” says Mendez.

SDIRAs provide many choices for savers that are not offered on the stock market, however, investors must understand they are 100% responsible for their investment selection and proper management of their accounts. “If investors are unwilling to assume the responsibilities; then SDIRAs may not be the right choice and they may be better off with mutual funds, bonds or cash,” says Tom Anderson, president, Retirement Industry Trust Association.

RITA – the voice of the self-directed IRA industry – will be holding the next educational conference for financial professionals, trust companies and regulators on March 27-29th, 2017 at the Mason Rook Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration is available online at http://www.ritaus.org/events.

RITA will offer to provide further input to those government organizations, including the Internal Revenue Service on the details of the implementation of the GAO's recommendations and will proactively seek to develop more technical guidance to prospective investors and customers of RITA member firms. In the interim, RITA encourages the public to view the information on our website (http://www.ritaus.org) to learn more about the benefits and risks of self-directed investing, so that they can make informed and compliant investment decisions when investing. Investors are encouraged to download ‘Check Before You Invest’ report at: https://rita.memberclicks.net/assets/documents/checkbeforeyouinvest.pdf

About Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) RITA is non-profit association of regulated banks, trust companies and industry related professionals and serves as the voice of the self-directed IRA industry. As the leading innovator and contributor of retirement services industry knowledge and “best practices”, RITA enables its members to provide the highest levels of retirement account and alternative asset administration and custody services.

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Mary Mohr

Robyn Levin
R. Levin Marketing Group
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