Plans

Traditional IRAs :

Contributions to a traditional IRA are deductible from earned income in the calculation of federal and state income taxes if the taxpayer meets certain requirements. The earnings accumulate tax deferred until withdrawn, and then the entire withdrawal is taxed as ordinary income. Individuals not eligible to make deductible contributions may make nondeductible contributions, the earnings on which would be tax deferred.

Roth IRAs:

 A nondeductible IRA that allows tax-free withdrawals when certain conditions are met. Income and contribution limits apply.

SEP IRAs:

 A type of plan under which the employer contributes to an employee’s IRA. Contributions may be made up to a certain limit and are immediately vested.

SIMPLE IRAs:

 In the past, the terms “Keogh plan” and “H.R. 10 plan” were used to distinguish a retirement plan established by a self-employed individual from a plan established by a corporation or other entity. However, self-employed retirement plans are now generally referred to by the name of the particular type of plan used, such as SEP IRA, SIMPLE 401(k), or self-employed 401(k). The contribution amount is indexed annually for inflation.

Qualified Plans:

401k:A defined contribution plan that may be established by a company for retirement. Employees may allocate a portion of their salaries into this plan, and contributions are excluded from their income for tax purposes (with limitations). Contributions and earnings will compound tax deferred. Withdrawals from a 401(k) plan are taxed as ordinary income, and may be subject to an additional 10 percent federal tax penalty if withdrawn prior to age 59½.

403(b) Accounts:

A defined contribution plan that may be established by a nonprofit organization or school for retirement. Employees may allocate a portion of their salaries into this plan, and contributions are excluded from their income for tax purposes (with limitations). Contributions and earnings will compound tax deferred. Withdrawals from a 403(b) plan are taxed as ordinary income, and may be subject to an additional 10 percent federal tax penalty if withdrawn prior to age 59½.

529 Plans:

 529 plans (also known as a “qualified tuition program”) were created under the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (SBA ’96) as a means of allowing taxpayers to save for higher education expenses for a designated beneficiary. A 529 plan may be provided by a state, an agency of the state or by an educational institution.

Like the education savings account (ESA), the 529 plan is an excellent way to save for education expenses. Earnings accumulate on a tax-deferred basis and distributions that are used for qualified education expenses are tax- and penalty-free. Unlike the ESA, the 529 plan may be set up in a way that allows individuals to prepay a student’s qualified higher-education expenses at an eligible educational institution. Also, the contribution limits for a 529 plan are considerably higher than those for an ESA. Here we take a look at 529 plans, how they work and how you can use them to save for a child or grand-child’s college education.

Education Savings Account:

Many people start a college savings fund for their newborn children. However, you may also decide you want to send your son or daughter to private school at some point during his or her elementary or high school years. Luckily there is a tax-advantaged fund that covers both, the Coverdell Education Savings Account(ESA).

The Coverdell Education Savings Account allows individuals to deposit up to $2,000 per year in an educational savings account for an eligible beneficiary (child) without being taxed on earnings from interest, dividends, appreciation, etc. – as long as the child uses the funds before the age of 30 for qualified educational expenses. The account must be started and all contributions made before the child is 18.