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Old 03.02.2017, 21:01
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Choosing US retirement plan when my end goal is to move back to Switzerland

I am a Swiss citizen and have just started my first job in the US. I plan to live here a few years and then eventually move back to Switzerland, where I'll retire around the year 2050. However, although that is still quite far away, I have to already make my selections with respect to my US retirement contributions.
My main objective is to avoid double taxation, and ideally I would of course like to minimize the amount of tax I end up paying (while still being honest). I've found a few helpful resources on this site, such as this thread. However, the posts I found are all from people that already have US retirement accounts and need to move them to Switzerland. I'm somewhat more flexible, in so far as I can currently choose whether I want to make Roth payments or pre-tax payments. I was told by the investment rep that she usually recommends Roth payments in my situation, because (in absence of a tax-treaty) the US imposes a 30% "international tax" on pre-tax IRAs at disbursement (which is higher than my current tax rate). Not knowing whether there will be a tax treaty in effect 35 years from now, that sounds like a good argument. However, if I now invest into a Roth-IRA and then come 2050, Switzerland considers the distribution income, I'll certainly end up paying more taxes (and I guess it would be harder to claim treaty benefits when the two tax payments are so many years apart).

Does anybody have experience with this and some advice on how to proceed? Or, can anybody recommend a Swiss tax person who's familiar with the US-Swiss treaty?
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double taxation, pension advice, retirement, tax advice, tax treaty

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