DEFINITION of 'Qualified Trust'

A tax-advantaged fiduciary relationship between an employer and an employee in the form of a stock bonus, pension, or profit-sharing plan in which the underlying beneficiary may use his or her life expectancy to determine required minimum distribution amounts. Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code authorizes and sets forth the requirements for a qualified trust.

BREAKING DOWN 'Qualified Trust'

To be qualified, a trust must be valid under state law, must be irrevocable (or become irrevocable when the retirement account holder dies) and must have identifiable beneficiaries. Furthermore, the IRA trustee, custodian or plan administrator must be provided with a copy of the trust instrument. If a qualified trust is not structured correctly, disbursements will be taxable.

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