401K RETIREMENT PLAN
Employer-sponsored 401k retirement plans are retirement savings and investment plans. Employees who contribute to a 401k retirement plan are exempt from paying taxes on their earnings. Employee contributions are automatically subtracted from their paychecks and invested in the funds of their choice.
How much is the annual contribution for 401k?
In 2021, the annual contribution limit for 401(k)s is $19,500, and in 2022, it will be $20,500 ($26,000 in 2021 and $27,000 in 2022 for those 50 and over).
The catchy name comes from the tax code section that created this type of plan, particularly subsection 401(k), by allowing employees to set up automatic payroll withdrawals. You can earn a tax credit either when you put money into a plan or when you take money out of it in retirement, depending on the type of plan you have.
You missed the best part of employee onboarding if you dozed off at this point — and that’s especially true if there’s free money involved.
What are the advantages of a 401(k) plan?
It’s difficult to argue with 401(k) tax benefits, which can provide a lot of financial stability for workers, including:
- Employer match
- Tax breaks
- Shelter from creditors
Let’s take a closer look at the 401(k) perks.
Want to make money for free? A company-matched 401k is ideal for you. Many firms will match employee contributions, either dollar for dollar or 50 cents to the dollar up to a certain amount. So, let’s assume you earn $100,000 per year, and your employer matches half of your 401(k) contributions up to the first 6 percent. Your company would pay 50% of your annual earnings ($6,000) if you contributed 6% of your annual earnings ($6,000). In other words, you’ve got 3,000 dollars for free!
Many firms give a dollar-for-dollar match, but it’s up to your company to select what proportion they’ll match.
401k Tax Breaks
401(k)s are like a triple-crown of finances in terms of tax benefits. First and foremost, donations are made before taxes are deducted from the total amount. When you retire, you don’t have to pay taxes on the money you’ve saved.
Second, your 401(k) contributions are not treated as income, so that you may be eligible for a lower tax rate. As a result of having saved money for your later years, your tax payment will be lower.
Third, you can put money away tax-free. If you had a conventional investing account, your net gains and dividends would be taxed. However, in a 401(k) plan, your money grows tax-free for as long as it remains in the account. The result is that your earnings will compound — that’s just a fancy way of stating that your earnings will grow.
401k Shelter Creditors
You won’t have to worry about your 401k being seized if your finances deteriorate. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) protects your qualified retirement plan from judgment creditors’ claims.
IRA vs. 401K
Contributions to 401(k) funds are taken out of your salary before taxes, so they are linked to your job. A traditional IRA is similar to a 401(k) in that contributions are tax-free (but not taxable). Still, the main distinction is that they aren’t tied to your employer’s financial decisions. The contributions to a Roth IRA are made after taxes, so they are tax-free. Withdrawals from a Roth IRA are tax-free, so they’re a good option if you’re worried about rising taxes in the future.
If I change employment, what happens to my 401(k)?
A 401k rollover is one of the most popular options, but it’s not the only one. When you transfer money from your current employer’s 401(k) plan to an individual retirement account (IRA) or a new employer’s 401(k) plan, it’s known as a 401(k) rollover. Cashing out your 401(k) is a less popular choice, but it comes with hefty penalties, including income tax and a 10% withholding fee.
Can you withdraw money from your 401(k) without incurring a penalty?
The current age at which you can withdraw money from your 401(k) without incurring a penalty is 59 and 1/2. The money you take out, on the other hand, is still taxable as income. The IRS will require you to start taking withdrawals from your retirement savings at 70.
Are there any other types of retirement accounts available?
The primary two are 401(k)s and IRAs. SEP IRAs and Simple IRAs are two different forms of IRA available to self-employed or small business owners.