The IRS has given pension plan sponsors what they've wanted for years: the green light to use a higher fixed rate when crediting interest to their employees' cash-balance accounts. 

The agency also delivered good news to 401(k) account holders that after-tax money in their accounts can be rolled into a Roth IRA tax-free.

Sponsors of cash-balance, which offer features of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans, have been in limbo on the interest rate question since 2010. 

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