Retirement Plans Breakdown Chart:

Chart Breakdown: Below you will find a chart that organizes the essential information about various Retirement Plans. We have broken these plans down into 3 groups: Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans, Self-Employment Sponsored Retirement Plans, and Personal Retirement Plans.

Zooming: Click on one of the Group titles ("Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans", etc...) to see a more readable version.

Video: To view videos explaining each retirement plan, click on the individual retirement plan title ("401K", "403(b) Education & 501(c)", etc...) in the yellow colored row.

GrowthIncome Research & Management's Retirement Plan Matrix
Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans Self-Employment Sponsored Retirement Plans Personal Retirement Plans
Plan (Click Plan Title for Video) 401K * 403(b) Education & 501(c) (3) 457(b) Governmental 457(b) Tax-Exempt Org (Non-Church) Defined Benefit Plans Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) Simple Employee Pension (SEP) Payroll Deduction IRA Traditional IRA Roth IRA
KeyAdvtg High Level Employees Salary Deferrals High Level Employees Salary Deferrals High Level Employees Salary Deferrals High Level of Salary Deferrals by Employees Fixed, Pre-Established Benefit for Employees Salary Reduction Plan with Little Admin Paperwork Easy to Set Up and Administer Easy to Set Up and Administer Easy to Set Up and Administer Easy to Set Up and Administer
DesigRoth May Include May Include Yes (Effective Jan 1, 2011) No No No Yes Yes No Yes
Sponsor Any Non-Government Employer (1) May Include Designated Roth Program Public Education Employers; 501(c) (3) Organizations May Include Designated Roth Program State & Local Government May Include Designated Roth Program Any Tax-Exempt Organization Any Employer 100 or Fewer Employees with No Other Retirement Plan Any Employer Any Employer N/A Income Limits May Preclude Participation (2)
EmplyrRole Arrange & Transmit Employees Elective Dererral Contributions (3) Arrange & Transmit Employees Elective Dererral Contributions Arrange Employees to Make Salary Reduction Contribution (3) Arrange Employees to Make Salary Reduction Contribution (3) Employ Actuary to Determine Account Contribution Set Up Plan; Transmits Contributions for Employees to SIMPLE IRA Set Up Plan; Transmits Contributions for Employees to SEP IRA Arrange Employees Payroll Deductions; Transmit Contributions to Employee IRA N/A N/A
Paperwork Financial Institution Financial Institution Financial Institution Financial Institution Financial Institution
AnnFileReq Yes (4) Yes (5) No No Yes No Generally, No No
FileForm Form 5500 (4) Form 5500 (4) No No Form 5500 (4) 5304 & 5305 SIMPLE 5305-SEP N/A
ModelForm None None None None None
Contributors to Plan
ContribTaxDef Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes No
ContribEmployee Elective Deferred Contributions Elective Deferred Contributions Salary Reduction Contributions Salary Reduction Contributions Not Optional Employee Decides Contribution Amount Employees Do Not Contribute Employee Decides Contribution Amount Elective Deferred Contributions Elective Deferred Contributions
ContribEmployer Permissable, But Not Required Employers Contributions Employers Contributions Employers Contributions Primarily Funded by Employer; An Actuary must determine annual contribution Matching Contribtion or 2% of each Eligible Employee Compensation Employers Can Decide Whether to Make Contributions Year-to-Year Employers Make No Contributions N/A N/A
Maximum Annual Contributions
MaxIncLim Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6) If Owner Covered by Employer Sponsored Plan There Are Limitations and Phaseout Deductions If Owner Covered by Employer Sponsored Plan There Are Limitations and Phaseout Deductions
MaxEmployee2012 $17,000 (2012) $17,000 (2012) $17,000 (2012) $17,000 (2012) Determine Acutary $11,500 (2012) Up to 25%; Limit to $50,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012)
MaxEmployee2013 $17,500 (2013) $17,500 (2013) $17,500 (2013) $17,500 (2013) $12,000 (2013) $51,000 in 2013 $5,500 (2013) $5,500 (2013) $5,500 (2013)
MaxEmployer Permissible, But Not Required Permissible, But Not Required; Age 50 or older, additional elective deferrals- $5,500 (2012) Permissible, But Not Required Permissible, But Not Required Primarily Funded by Employer Match Employee Contribution of First 3% (can be reduced to as low as 1% in any 2 of 5 years); or, 2% of Eligible Employee Compensation (7) Up to 25% of Compensation but No More than $50,000 (2012) Employers Make No Contribution N/A N/A
MaxCombined Employee elective deferal of $17,000 (2012); Employee and Employer lesser of $50,000 (2012) or 100% of Compensation (2); $51,000(2013) Employee elective deferal of $17,000 (2012); Employee and Employer lesser of $50,000 (2012) or 100% of Compensation (2); $51,000(2013) $17,000 (2012); Additional Salary Reduction Contribution $5,500 (2012); $17,500 (2013) $17,000 (2012); No age 50 or over additional salary reduction Contribution; $17,500 (2013) Actuary Determined Contributions; Plan Benefits Subject to Non-Discrimination Testing Up to 25% (20% if Self-Employed) of Compensation but No More than $50,000 (2012) Up to 25% of Compensation but No More than $50,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012)
MaxCatchUp Age 50 & Over Selected Employers; Employees 15 Yrs of Service 3 Years Prior to Normal Retirement Age 3 Years Prior to Normal Retirement Age N/A Age 50 or Over N/A Age 50 or Over Age 50 or Over Age 50 or Over
MaxCatchAmount $5,500(2012) Lesser of: 1)$3,000; 2) $15,000 Less Prev Excluded Catch Ups; 3) $5,000 x Service Yrs less Prev Excluded Deferrals Lesser of: 1)$34,000 (2012) (2X Basic Annual Limit (2001)); 2) Basic Ann Limit + Unused Basis Ann Limit Prior Years (8) Lesser of: 1)$34,000 (2012) (2X Basic Annual Limit (2001)); 2) Basic Ann Limit + Unused Basis Ann Limit Prior Years (8) N/A Additional Employee Contribution $2,500 (2012) N/A $1,000 (2012) $1,000 (2012) $1,000 (2012)
MinEmployeeCovReq Must Pass Minimum Coverage Test All Eligible Employees May Elect Contribution $200 + by Salary Reduction Common-Law Employees; Independent Contractors Select Management Group or Highly Compd Employees; Independent Contractors Must Pass Minimum Coverage Test Employees $5,000 Annual Compensation any Prior 2 Years and Will Earn Least $5,000 Curr Year 21 or Over; Worked at Employer 3 of last 5 Years; Comp at Least $550 (2012) Available to All Employees N/A N/A
MinCovTest Yes Yes, Except Government Entities No No Yes
Withdrawals, Loans & Distributions
DistrTaxable Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally Contributions Are Non-Taxable
EarlyDistr 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 N/A N/A 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2; Subject 25% if less than 2 years of participation 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes on Gains, Rollover Funds and Conversion Funds
WthdrwlEvents Retirement, Death, Disability, Severence or Hardship Retirement, Death, Disability, Severence or Hardship Severence, Hardship or Small Inactive Accounts Severence of Employment (9) Retirement, Death, Disability or Severence Withdrawal Subject to Fed Income Tax After Age of 59 1/2 (10) Withdrawal Subject to Fed Income Tax After Age of 59 1/2 Withdrawal Subject to Fed Income Tax After Age of 59 1/2 Withdrawal Permitted Subject to Fed Income Tax After Age of 59 1/2 Original Contributions Anytime and 59 1/2 or Funded Roth IRA for 5 Years
Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
RMD April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 (Excise Tax on Required Amounts Not Distributed N/A
Loans For Hardship Cases For Hardship Cases For Hardship Cases; Small Inactive Accounts May Not Permit Loans Loans Permitted Loans Not Permitted Loans Not Permitted Loans Not Permitted Loans Not Permitted Loans Not Permitted
RolloverBen Yes, IRA or Other Plans that Accept Rollover Yes, Eligible Retirement Plan; Another 403(b); To Buy Government Plans Service Yes, Eligible Retirement Plan; Another 457(b); To Buy Government Plans Service Rollovers Are Not Permitted; Post- Severance Transfers from Tax-Exempt 457(b) to Another Generally, Participant Benefits Can Be Rolled Over to Another Qualified Plan or an IRA Rollover Another SIMPLE IRA; Non- SIMPLE IRA Rollovers Tax-Free After 2 Years in SIMPLE IRA (11) Rollover Permitted from One IRA to Another and to an Eligible Retirement Plan Rollover Permitted from One IRA to Another and to an Eligible Retirement Plan (12) Rollover Permitted from One IRA to Another and to an Eligible Retirement Plan (12) N/A
Vesting
VestEmployee Elective Deferral Contributions 100% Vested Immediately Elective Deferral Contributions 100% Vested Immediately Elective Salary Reduction 100% Vested Immediately Subject to Claims of Creditors According to Terms of the Plan Employee Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested N/A Employee Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested Employee Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested Employee Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested
VestEmployer Vesting According to Plan Terms In Limited Circumstances Vest Over Time According to the Plan Vesting According to Plan Terms Subject to Claims of Creditors According to Terms of the Plan Employer Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested Employer Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested N/A N/A N/A
VestEPRS Yes Yes No; Special 180-Day Rule Correct (13) No Yes Yes Yes No No No
Notes:
  • * Thrift Savings Plans (TSP) are Similar to 401(K) Plans for Federal Employees and members of the Uniform Services, including the Federal Reserve
  1. Governments only if plan was established prior to May 1986
  2. Income Limitation May be Legally Overcome by Contributing to an IRA and then Converting it to a Roth IRA
  3. May Be Subject to Non-Discrimination Testing to Ensure Plan Does Not Discriminate in Favor of Highly Compensated Employees
  4. Unless Government Entity
  5. May Require Form 5500 Filing If Employer Contributions are Made (Unless Government Entity)
  6. Somewhat Complicated Due to High Compensated Employees (HCE) Rules
  7. Can be Reduced to a Low as 1% in any 2 of 5 Years
  8. Only Allowed If Not Utilizing the Age 50 or Over Catch-Up
  9. Special Rules May Apply to Independent Contractors
  10. Early Withdrawal Penalty is 25% if Less than 2 Years of Participation
  11. Rollovers a Simple IRA to an Non-SIMPLE IRA or to an Eligible Retirement Plan can be Made Tax-Free only After a 2-Year Participation in SIMPLE IRA Plan
  12. Special Rules Apply to Roth IRAs
  13. Submission Accepted on a Provisional Basis Outside EPCRS
Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans
Plan (Click Plan Title for Video) 401K * 403(b) Education & 501(c) (3) 457(b) Governmental 457(b) Tax-Exempt Org (Non-Church) Defined Benefit Plans
KeyAdvtg High Level Employees Salary Deferrals High Level Employees Salary Deferrals High Level Employees Salary Deferrals High Level of Salary Deferrals by Employees Fixed, Pre-Established Benefit for Employees
DesigRoth May Include May Include Yes (Effective Jan 1, 2011) No No
Sponsor Any Non-Government Employer (1) May Include Designated Roth Program Public Education Employers; 501(c) (3) Organizations May Include Designated Roth Program State & Local Government May Include Designated Roth Program Any Tax-Exempt Organization Any Employer
EmplyrRole Arrange & Transmit Employees Elective Dererral Contributions (3) Arrange & Transmit Employees Elective Dererral Contributions Arrange Employees to Make Salary Reduction Contribution (3) Arrange Employees to Make Salary Reduction Contribution (3) Employ Actuary to Determine Account Contribution
Paperwork
AnnFileReq Yes (4) Yes (5) No No Yes
FileForm Form 5500 (4) Form 5500 (4) No No Form 5500 (4)
ModelForm None None None None None
Contributors to Plan
ContribTaxDef Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes
ContribEmployee Elective Deferred Contributions Elective Deferred Contributions Salary Reduction Contributions Salary Reduction Contributions Not Optional
ContribEmployer Permissable, But Not Required Employers Contributions Employers Contributions Employers Contributions Primarily Funded by Employer; An Actuary must determine annual contribution
Maximum Annual Contributions
MaxIncLim Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6)
MaxEmployee2012 $17,000 (2012) $17,000 (2012) $17,000 (2012) $17,000 (2012) Determine Acutary
MaxEmployee2013 $17,500 (2013) $17,500 (2013) $17,500 (2013) $17,500 (2013)
MaxEmployer Permissible, But Not Required Permissible, But Not Required; Age 50 or older, additional elective deferrals- $5,500 (2012) Permissible, But Not Required Permissible, But Not Required Primarily Funded by Employer
MaxCombined Employee elective deferal of $17,000 (2012); Employee and Employer lesser of $50,000 (2012) or 100% of Compensation (2); $51,000(2013) Employee elective deferal of $17,000 (2012); Employee and Employer lesser of $50,000 (2012) or 100% of Compensation (2); $51,000(2013) $17,000 (2012); Additional Salary Reduction Contribution $5,500 (2012); $17,500 (2013) $17,000 (2012); No age 50 or over additional salary reduction Contribution; $17,500 (2013) Actuary Determined Contributions; Plan Benefits Subject to Non-Discrimination Testing
MaxCatchUp Age 50 & Over Selected Employers; Employees 15 Yrs of Service 3 Years Prior to Normal Retirement Age 3 Years Prior to Normal Retirement Age N/A
MaxCatchAmount $5,500(2012) Lesser of: 1)$3,000; 2) $15,000 Less Prev Excluded Catch Ups; 3) $5,000 x Service Yrs less Prev Excluded Deferrals Lesser of: 1)$34,000 (2012) (2X Basic Annual Limit (2001)); 2) Basic Ann Limit + Unused Basis Ann Limit Prior Years (8) Lesser of: 1)$34,000 (2012) (2X Basic Annual Limit (2001)); 2) Basic Ann Limit + Unused Basis Ann Limit Prior Years (8) N/A
MinEmployeeCovReq Must Pass Minimum Coverage Test All Eligible Employees May Elect Contribution $200 + by Salary Reduction Common-Law Employees; Independent Contractors Select Management Group or Highly Compd Employees; Independent Contractors Must Pass Minimum Coverage Test
MinCovTest Yes Yes, Except Government Entities No No Yes
Withdrawals, Loans & Distributions
DistrTaxable Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income
EarlyDistr 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 N/A N/A 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2
WthdrwlEvents Retirement, Death, Disability, Severence or Hardship Retirement, Death, Disability, Severence or Hardship Severence, Hardship or Small Inactive Accounts Severence of Employment (9) Retirement, Death, Disability or Severence
Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement April 1st Year After Retirement
RMD April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5
Loans For Hardship Cases For Hardship Cases For Hardship Cases; Small Inactive Accounts May Not Permit Loans Loans Permitted
RolloverBen Yes, IRA or Other Plans that Accept Rollover Yes, Eligible Retirement Plan; Another 403(b); To Buy Government Plans Service Yes, Eligible Retirement Plan; Another 457(b); To Buy Government Plans Service Rollovers Are Not Permitted; Post- Severance Transfers from Tax-Exempt 457(b) to Another Generally, Participant Benefits Can Be Rolled Over to Another Qualified Plan or an IRA
Vesting
VestEmployee Elective Deferral Contributions 100% Vested Immediately Elective Deferral Contributions 100% Vested Immediately Elective Salary Reduction 100% Vested Immediately Subject to Claims of Creditors According to Terms of the Plan
VestEmployer Vesting According to Plan Terms In Limited Circumstances Vest Over Time According to the Plan Vesting According to Plan Terms Subject to Claims of Creditors According to Terms of the Plan
VestEPRS Yes Yes No; Special 180-Day Rule Correct (13) No Yes
Self-Employment Sponsored Retirement Plans
Plan (Click Plan Title for Video) Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) Simple Employee Pension (SEP) Payroll Deduction IRA
KeyAdvtg Salary Reduction Plan with Little Admin Paperwork Easy to Set Up and Administer Easy to Set Up and Administer
DesigRoth No Yes Yes
Sponsor 100 or Fewer Employees with No Other Retirement Plan Any Employer Any Employer
EmplyrRole Set Up Plan; Transmits Contributions for Employees to SIMPLE IRA Set Up Plan; Transmits Contributions for Employees to SEP IRA Arrange Employees Payroll Deductions; Transmit Contributions to Employee IRA
Paperwork Financial Institution Financial Institution Financial Institution
AnnFileReq No Generally, No No
FileForm 5304 & 5305 SIMPLE 5305-SEP N/A
ModelForm
Contributors to Plan
ContribTaxDef Typically, Yes Typically, Yes Typically, Yes
ContribEmployee Employee Decides Contribution Amount Employees Do Not Contribute Employee Decides Contribution Amount
ContribEmployer Matching Contribtion or 2% of each Eligible Employee Compensation Employers Can Decide Whether to Make Contributions Year-to-Year Employers Make No Contributions
Maximum Annual Contributions
MaxIncLim Generally None (6) Generally None (6) Generally None (6)
MaxEmployee2012 $11,500 (2012) Up to 25%; Limit to $50,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012)
MaxEmployee2013 $12,000 (2013) $51,000 in 2013 $5,500 (2013)
MaxEmployer Match Employee Contribution of First 3% (can be reduced to as low as 1% in any 2 of 5 years); or, 2% of Eligible Employee Compensation (7) Up to 25% of Compensation but No More than $50,000 (2012) Employers Make No Contribution
MaxCombined Up to 25% (20% if Self-Employed) of Compensation but No More than $50,000 (2012) Up to 25% of Compensation but No More than $50,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012)
MaxCatchUp Age 50 or Over N/A Age 50 or Over
MaxCatchAmount Additional Employee Contribution $2,500 (2012) N/A $1,000 (2012)
MinEmployeeCovReq Employees $5,000 Annual Compensation any Prior 2 Years and Will Earn Least $5,000 Curr Year 21 or Over; Worked at Employer 3 of last 5 Years; Comp at Least $550 (2012) Available to All Employees
MinCovTest
Withdrawals, Loans & Distributions
DistrTaxable Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income Generally, Ordinary Income
EarlyDistr 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2; Subject 25% if less than 2 years of participation 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2
WthdrwlEvents Withdrawal Subject to Fed Income Tax After Age of 59 1/2 (10) Withdrawal Subject to Fed Income Tax After Age of 59 1/2 Withdrawal Subject to Fed Income Tax After Age of 59 1/2
Retirement N/A N/A N/A
RMD April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5
Loans Loans Not Permitted Loans Not Permitted Loans Not Permitted
RolloverBen Rollover Another SIMPLE IRA; Non- SIMPLE IRA Rollovers Tax-Free After 2 Years in SIMPLE IRA (11) Rollover Permitted from One IRA to Another and to an Eligible Retirement Plan Rollover Permitted from One IRA to Another and to an Eligible Retirement Plan (12)
Vesting
VestEmployee Employee Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested N/A Employee Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested
VestEmployer Employer Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested Employer Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested N/A
VestEPRS Yes Yes No
Personal Retirement Plans
Plan (Click Plan Title for Video) Traditional IRA Roth IRA
KeyAdvtg Easy to Set Up and Administer Easy to Set Up and Administer
DesigRoth No Yes
Sponsor N/A Income Limits May Preclude Participation (2)
EmplyrRole N/A N/A
Paperwork Financial Institution Financial Institution
AnnFileReq
FileForm
ModelForm
ContribTaxDef Typically, Yes No
ContribEmployee Elective Deferred Contributions Elective Deferred Contributions
ContribEmployer N/A N/A
MaxIncLim If Owner Covered by Employer Sponsored Plan There Are Limitations and Phaseout Deductions If Owner Covered by Employer Sponsored Plan There Are Limitations and Phaseout Deductions
MaxEmployee2012 $5,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012)
MaxEmployee2013 $5,500 (2013) $5,500 (2013)
MaxEmployer N/A N/A
MaxCombined $5,000 (2012) $5,000 (2012)
MaxCatchUp Age 50 or Over Age 50 or Over
MaxCatchAmount $1,000 (2012) $1,000 (2012)
MinEmployeeCovReq N/A N/A
MinCovTest
DistrTaxable Generally, Ordinary Income Generally Contributions Are Non-Taxable
EarlyDistr 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes if Under the Age of 59 1/2 10% Penalty and Additional Taxes on Gains, Rollover Funds and Conversion Funds
WthdrwlEvents Withdrawal Permitted Subject to Fed Income Tax After Age of 59 1/2 Original Contributions Anytime and 59 1/2 or Funded Roth IRA for 5 Years
Retirement N/A N/A
RMD April 1st Year After Turning Age 70.5 (Excise Tax on Required Amounts Not Distributed N/A
Loans Loans Not Permitted Loans Not Permitted
RolloverBen Rollover Permitted from One IRA to Another and to an Eligible Retirement Plan (12) N/A
VestEmployee Employee Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested Employee Contributions are Immediately 100% Vested
VestEmployer N/A N/A
VestEPRS No No

Note: While due care was taken in the construction of the following chart, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. We recommend you consult with a specialist in retirement plans prior to establishing or changing your current plan.

Retirement Benefit Plans Intro Retirement Steps
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