A Guide to the 401k Retirement Plan

By: Lee Dobbins...

The 401K is a type of retirement plan, also sometimes called a cash or deferred arrangement plan (CODA). It is named after a section of the Internal Revenue Code. It means that you make contributions from your salary which are matched and paid for by your employer. There are many companies and non-profit organizations which can set up these plans for their employees.
The advantage of this plan is that you can make contributions which are pre-tax and the funds that you contribute are non-taxable until you make a withdrawal. The employer permits the employees who have the plan to defer payment of some of their compensation and they contribute those funds to the plan account.
The 401k retirement plans allow the employer to make contributions to the funds up to a maximum of 50%. Monies can also be paid to a profit sharing plan; as well as this the employer can make independent payment s towards the profit sharing plan. The most widely used plan of choice is called the participant-directed plan.
Some of the 401k retirement plans allow the chance for the employee to decide where the money goes whether it be to company, stock, the stock market or other types of investment choices.
The retirement plans are regulated by The Employment Benefits Security Administration. This is part of the U.S Department of Labor. Governments of the state prohibit their employees from having plans like the 401k retirement plan. Certain tax-exempt and private company employees that qualify can have the retirement plans. Self-employed people now also have the option to have one of these types of plans.
These plans have many advantages for the employee. Firstly, it gives them complete control over their investments. Employees can chose where the funds go and what use is made of it. Employees can also make payments to their retirement plan with pre-tax money, which means that they pay less tax and receive more on their salary check. If an employee changes jobs then the existing plan is simply moved over to the new company's plan.
It is possible to withdraw funds before the age of sixty, but these withdrawals may be liable for paying an excise tax. This retirement plan is a helpful option if you are having difficulties as it is possible to get a loan from the plan without having to pay tax on it. Some employers restrict the amount you can borrow from the plan and may ask for the partner to sign a release agreement, as the withdrawal affects them too. Another advantage of having this type of retirement plan is that as it is a personal investment plan it is covered by pension laws in the U.S. It also means that the savings cannot be used to pay creditors or be assigned to anyone else as it is the employees' personal plan.
It is advisable to be wary of rollovers relating to the 401k retirement plans. It is recommended that you gain all the information possible on the topic of rollovers before making any decisions.
The 401k retirement plan is one of the best options around in terms of saving for the day that you retire.

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