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Planning Your Retirement: 401(k) Plans


What is a 401(k) and How Does It Work? (Investopedia)

IRS: 401(k) Plans

  • 401(k) Plan Overview​ (and types of plans)
    "A 401(k) plan is a qualified (i.e., meets the standards set forth in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for tax-favored status) profit-sharing, stock bonus, pre-ERISA money purchase pension, or a rural cooperative plan under which an employee can elect to have the employer contribute a portion of the employee’s cash wages to the plan on a pre-tax basis."    
  • 401(k)  Contribution Limits
    "The limit on employee elective deferrals (for traditional and safe harbor plans) is: $22,500 in 2023 ($20,500 in 2022, $19,500 in 2021 and 2020; and $19,000 in 2019), subject to cost-of-living adjustments."
  • General Distribution Rules
    "Generally, distributions of elective deferrals cannot be made until one of the following occurs: you die, become disabled, or otherwise have a severance from employment; the plan terminates and no successor defined contribution plan is established or maintained by the employer; you reach age 59½ or incur a financial hardship."
  • Designated Roth Accounts
    "Employers may offer employees an opportunity to make after-tax salary deferral contributions to a separate designated Roth account in the employer's 401(k), 403(b) or governmental 457(b) retirement plan. Unlike pre-tax elective deferrals, the amount employees contribute to a designated Roth account is includible in gross income. However, distributions from the account are generally tax-free, including previously untaxed earnings in the account."
    • Contribution Limits
      Total contributions to the plan are limited to $22,500 in 2023 ($20,500 in 2022; $19,500 in 2020 and 2021; $19,000 in 2019) plus for employees age 50 or older, an additional $7,500 in 2023; $6,500 in 2020, in 2021 and in 2022 ($6,000 in 2015 - 2019)."
    • Distributions
      "A qualified distribution from a designated Roth account is excludable from gross income. A qualified distribution is one that occurs at least five years after the year of the employee’s first designated Roth contribution (counting the first year as part of the five) and is made: on or after attainment of age 59½; on account of the employee’s disability; on or after the employee’s death."
  • 401(k) Resource Guide
  • 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans​

  • Publications