Retirement Plan Categories: There are many different ways to illustrate the various relationships among retirement plans. We, at GrowthIncome, feel that they are best organized into three super categories: Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans, Self-Employment Sponsored Retirement Plans and Personal Retirement Plans. While there is considerable overlapping among the super categories, we have illustrated the plans as they would most likely be employed.
Similar Principal: Most of these retirement plans operate on a similar basis of deferring income taxes on contributions (or salary reductions), tax-free build-up of value within these accounts, and taxation on withdrawals from the plan at ordinary income rates.
Exceptions Abound: There are many exceptions to this fundamental rule, the most obvious being the Roth IRA, which taxes contributions and whose distributions are tax-free upon withdrawal. However, to highlight each exception would be counterproductive in providing a conceptual illustration.
We have highlighted these various retirement plans across different plan attributes in a chart on the following page for sake of easy comparison. The plans vary in complexity, availability, annual reporting and administration.
Review Your Retirement Plan(s) Annually: If you and your spouse are currently covered by an employer's retirement plan, you should contact the plan's provider for details regarding its particulars as it may impact the amount of deductions you receive for contributions on a personal IRA/retirement plan.