Shelter From April's Showers

A once obscure savings plan becomes a substitute for the IRA

For five sweet years the individual retirement account was Everyman's tax shelter, providing a tax-deductible savings plan enjoyed by millions of Americans. But as the April 15 income-tax deadline approaches, that once sturdy shelter is leaking badly. Because of tax reform, high-income IRA holders can no longer claim deductions on contributions to their accounts. Many taxpayers, though, are not despairing; they are switching to another tax- deferred investment vehicle that has become an attractive alternative to the IRA. Its cryptic name: the 401(k). Says Christine Okenica, benefits coordinator at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae, a New York City law firm: "Today...

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