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Question: I am working with the widow of a member of the military. Can she roll over the death benefit she received from his government insurance to a Roth IRA?
Here are the rules taken from IRS Publication 590:
Military Death Gratuities and Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Payments
If you received a military death gratuity or SGLI payment with respect to a death from injury that occurred after October 6, 2001, you can contribute (roll over) all or part of the amount received to your Roth IRA. The contribution is treated as a qualified rollover contribution.
The amount you can roll over to your Roth IRA cannot exceed the total amount that you received reduced by any part of that amount that was contributed to a Coverdell ESA or another Roth IRA. Any military death gratuity or SGLI payment contributed to a Roth IRA is disregarded for purposes of the 1-year waiting period between rollovers.
The rollover must be completed before the end of the 1-year period beginning on the date you received the payment.
The amount contributed to your Roth IRA is treated as part of your cost basis (investment in the contract) in the Roth IRA that is not taxable when distributed.
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