IRA Essentials Workshop: An Energetic Twist on Retirement Savings

It isn’t often that a two-day training session on something as practical as individual retirement accounts (IRA) can be described as a genuinely entertaining, energizing experience, but the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) IRA Training Seminar, presented by Training Consultant Paul Kern from Ascensus, Inc., is exactly that.

With eight years of IRA experience, Kern is as well versed on the intricacies of IRA as anyone, and his passion for the subject enables him to not only tailor his message to the credit union movement, but to imbue attendees with a similar passion.

“I truly love what I do,” says Kern. “I get so much from it. IRAs rock! And, credit unions are amazing, so I believe I need to be equally amazing. They deserve my 110 percent, so I give my all.”

Kern’s understanding of the credit union movement goes much deeper than a simple respect for the industry, however, as his constantly-evolving curriculum and training program reflects the ever-changing landscape facing the modern credit union.

“With so many compliance changes, the curriculum is revised each year,” Kern said. “This year, it will be more detailed and include new topics that will take a different look at IRA, which will be both relevant and appealing to credit unions.”

Kern will be presenting the 2011 IRA Training Seminar in Federal Way, WA and Lakes Oswego, OR in October. See below for a detailed agenda, and visit NWCUA Programs & Events to register.

IRA Essentials Workshop – Day One
The IRA Essentials Workshop gives attendees a solid foundation of IRA knowledge. Exercises are included throughout the day to help participants apply information to job-related situations. Attendees will leave this session able to work with IRA owners and process basic IRA transactions with confidence. This is a beginner’s session; no previous IRA knowledge is assumed. The trainer will utilize real-world exercises to help participants apply information to job-related situations. Those attending should bring a hand-held calculator.

Program Agenda for the IRA Essentials Workshop

  • IRA Fundamentals: Examine the importance of retirement savings to your members and your credit union. Identify the differences between traditional and Roth IRAs, and review the process for establishing an IRA. Learn about the regular contribution limits and deadlines. Identify the eligibility requirements for traditional and Roth IRA contributions.
  • IRA Distributions: Discuss the process for removing funds from traditional and Roth IRAs. Identify IRS penalties and their exceptions, and learn when to withhold for income taxes. Discover when owners are required to remove their IRA funds.
  • IRA Transfer and Rollover Contributions: Identify the differences between a rollover and a direct transfer. List the difference when the money comes from a qualified retirement plan instead of an IRA.
  • IRA Tax Reporting Overview: Review the basic tax reports that the IRA owners receive, such as the IRS Form 5498 and the IRS Form 1099-R.

IRA Advanced Workshop – Day Two
The IRA Advanced Workshop builds on the learners’ knowledge of IRA basics to help them address some of the more complex IRA issues they handle at the credit union. This is an advanced session; previous IRA knowledge is assumed. Learners participate in real-world credit union activities which allows them to apply their learning immediately back on the job. Those attending should bring a hand-held calculator.

Program Agenda for the IRA Advanced Workshop

  • IRA Benefits: Identify the tax advantages of the traditional and Roth IRAs.
  • IRA Tax Reporting: Analyze the IRS Form 5498 and 1099-R tax statements. Describe the withholding requirements on both a federal and state level.
  • IRA Transactions: Identify different types of contributions that can be made to traditional and Roth IRAs, such as rollover contributions, including the automatic waiver of the 60-day rule, and traditional IRA to Roth IRA conversions. List how and when these contributions are reported to the IRA owner and the IRS. Discuss the tax consequences of distributions from traditional and Roth IRAs. Define an excess contribution, as well as a recharacterization. Analyze the requirements for reporting distributions to the IRA owner and the IRS.
  • Required Minimum Distributions: Differentiate when to use the Uniform Lifetime Table and the Joint Life Expectancy Table. Review the tax reporting requirements for required minimum distributions (RMDs).
  • Processing an IRA Death Claim: Examine the steps involved in the death claim process.


Questions? Contact Training Programs Coordinator Yuri Jung: 206.340.4817,  

Posted in Around the NW, Events.