Types of Retirement Accounts

A retirement account enables you to save and invest a portion of your income while working, in preparation for your retirement. Government-approved institutions manage retirement accounts to ensure that your money is well taken care of.

When you have a retirement account during your active working days, you can live comfortably in your retirement. A part of your salary goes directly into your retirement account, then the funds in your retirement account are invested professionally and released to you once you are at retirement age.

There are various types of retirement accounts that you can use to manage your retirement funds, each with different pros and cons. Let’s have a further look at your options.

Traditional IRA

A traditional IRA is a retirement account in which you save untaxed dollars. You can deduct the contributions to a traditional IRA on your tax return.

You can invest and grow the funds in this IRA tax-deferred. You will instruct the administrators of your IRA to invest your contributions. The dividends and capital gains made are not taxed.

However, when you start receiving your distribution in retirement, you will pay tax, but only on the gains on your investments.

Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is a retirement account in which you save already taxed funds. On retirement, your distribution from a Roth IRA is tax-free.

If you have a Roth IRA, you can start enjoying your contributions once you are 59.5 years, on the condition that you have contributed to the account for more than five years.

A Roth IRA doesn’t have an age limit for contributions. This means that you can keep contributing to your Roth IRA perpetually.

If you choose to continue adding to your Roth IRA account throughout your life, your beneficiaries’ distribution will be tax-free.


If you are employed by someone other than yourself, your employer must start a retirement plan for you. A 401(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Your contributions to a 401(k) are tax-deductible. Your employer matches your contribution towards the account on agreed-upon rates.

You are allowed to choose the investments that your 401(k) contributions can be invested in. On retirement, you get to enjoy the returns of the investment in the form of retirement distributions. However, your distribution amounts are liable to tax.

If you are under the age of 50, you can contribute a maximum of $19,500 in your 401(k). If you are over 50, you can contribute $26,000 per year. In some instances, you are also allowed a $6.500 catch-up contribution. This allowance might help you to meet your savings goals as you near retirement.


SEP means a Simplified Employee Pension plan. A SEP IRA is a retirement account for self-employed individuals and their employees.

A SEP IRA’s advantages are that it is easy to set up and has low administration costs. They also allow employers to determine how much to contribute. However, compared to other IRAs, contributions to a SEP IRA are significantly higher.

Employers can determine which of their employees can get a SEP IRA. To qualify for a SEP IRA, you must have worked in a business for at least three years over a five year period and earned a minimum of $600 in the current year.

When you have a SEP IRA, the employer doesn’t have to make investment decisions. These are left to the administrator and individual employees to decide. You will receive regular correspondence on the performance of your investments from your IRA administrator.


Savings Intensive Match Plan For Employees, or SIMPLE IRA, is a retirement account for small businesses, employees, and self-employed individuals. Contributions to this account are tax-deductible. The money then grows until you retire, and any distributions from this account must be taxed.

The employer can match the employees’ contribution up to 3% of income.

Thrift Savings Plan

A Thrift Savings Plan is a defined contribution plan for federal employees. It aims to offer the beneficiaries a product reminiscent of what private-sector employees already have in terms of retirement-saving benefits. It can either be tax-deferred or tax-exempt.


A 403(B) is a retirement account provided for those working in organizations that are tax-exempt and non-profits. It is also known as a tax-sheltered annuity. The contributions to this retirement account are tax-deductible.

The 403(B) is administered by the state or local governments.


The 457(B) retirement account is also known as a deferred compensation plan. It is an employer-sponsored retirement account that allows you to tax-deductible contributions. You will only pay tax on your retirement distributions.

It is often provided to state and local government employees, such as firefighters and policemen. It is also used by employees in NGOs and other tax-exempt institutions.

Pension Plan

A pension plan is a defined benefit retirement account. Contributions are made to a pool of funds to a qualified and approved administrator. Upon retirement, you can receive a lump-sum payment or receive the money in regular installments, should you prefer.

Pension plans used to be a popular option, however, they have now been replaced by 401(k)s, and it is pretty rare to find an employer-sponsored pension plan.

Rollover IRA

A Rollover Independent Retirement Account is a retirement account that you can open to hold the contents of your 401(k) after you have left a particular employer.

A Rollover IRA is similar to a traditional IRA, therefore moving the funds from one administrator to another is tax-free. However, if you choose to cash out of your 401(k) transfer method, you will face penalties and taxation.

If your current retirement plan is a Roth 401(k), you can also opt for a Roth IRA as your rollover IRA for the tax benefits.


By making sure you have a retirement account that works for you, you ensure that you have financial security when you are no longer employed. However, there are many different retirement accounts that you might be eligible for, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure you’re putting your money in the right place.

The type of retirement account you have depends significantly on how you earn. The best types of retirement accounts will be contingent on whether you are a business owner, the size of your business, and the nature of your work.


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