Qualified retirement accounts are generally protected from seizure by creditors under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA protects most employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans. Non-qualified retirement accounts, such as IRA’s and Roth IRA’s, are not protected by ERISA, though they have limited protection (generally up to $1 million) under the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act. Significantly, in Massachusetts, retirement plans are generally treated as a countable resource for determining MassHealth eligibility for nursing home benefits.
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