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DEBORAH J. FRAZIER, a senior financial consultant with Merrill Lynch’s Private Client Group (800-692-8057), says many people who overlook IRAs are passing up a good, tax-deferred vehicle for retirement savings. She points out that legislation passed last August boosts the amount a couple can contribute to an account from $2,250 to $4,000 annually contributors stow away even more money, until retirement, from the clutches of the IRS. Still, the popularity of IRAs continues to suffer. “We’ve found that ever since the 1986 tax law eliminated deductions for many contributions, people have stopped contributing to IRAs or shied away from them altogether,” says Frazier. ” They’re forgetting the benefits of tax-deferral, which can amount to 30% or more of your contribution annually, depending on your tax bracket.” She also notes that IRA contributions are still tax deductible if your yearly income is $35,000 or less, you’re single and not covered under a pension plan at work.