The Internal Revenue Service has issued final regulations allowing pension recipients to split their benefits between both monthly annuity payments and a lump sum.

The final regulations change the rules for the minimum present value requirements for defined benefit plan distributions to enable plans to simplify the treatment of certain optional forms of benefit that are paid partly in the form of an annuity and partly in a single sum or some other more accelerated form.

The IRS issued proposed regulations in 2012 on the change and issued the final regulations with a few changes last week. The final regulations will allow pensioners to bifurcate their benefit payments so they can receive more of the pension benefits during their lifetime without disqualifying the pension plan under previous IRS rules.

The final regulations affect participants, beneficiaries, sponsors and administrators of defined benefit pension plans. The regs are effective on Sept. 9, 2016, and apply to distributions with annuity starting dates in plan years beginning on or after on or after Jan. 1, 2017. Taxpayers can also opt to apply the regulations for any earlier period.

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