The IRS, after seven years of consideration, has clarified the exemptions to rules that establish whether direct payments from retirement plans to a carrier are taxable.

Retirement advisors will want to take note of the final ruling, particularly those with "public safety officers" as clients – including law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, chaplains to law enforcement departments and corrections officers.

Distributions from qualified retirement plans used to pay premiums on health, accident and long-term care insurance polices are generally taxable. But the final regulations provide for an exception of up to $3,000 annually for retired public safety officers, and his or her spouse and dependents, when premium payments are made to insurance companies directly from qualified retirement accounts.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.