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Financial Planning

401(k)

A 401(k) is a type of retirement savings account in the U.S., which takes its name from subsection 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 of the United States Code). 401(k) are “defined contribution plans” with annual contributions limited, currently, to $17,500. Contributions are “tax-deferred”—deducted from paychecks before taxes and then taxed when a withdrawal is made from the 401(k) account. Depending on the employer’s program a portion of the employee’s contribution may be matched by the employer.

412(i) Plan

A defined-benefit pension plan designed for small business owners in the United States. This is a tax-qualified benefit plan, so any amount that the owner contributes to the plan becomes available immediately as a tax deduction to the company. The plan must be funded solely by guaranteed annuities, or a combination of annuities and life insurance.

IRA’s

An Individual Retirement Account is a form of retirement plan, provided by many financial institutions, that provides tax advantages for retirement savings in the United States as described in IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRAs). The term IRA encompasses an individual retirement account; a trust or custodial account set up for the exclusive benefit of taxpayers or their beneficiaries; and an individual retirement annuity, by which the taxpayers purchase an annuity contract or an endowment contract from a life insurance company.

Tax Sheltered Annuities (TSA’s)

A type of annuity that allows an employee to make contributions from his or her income into a retirement plan. The contributions are deducted from the employee’s income and, as a result, the contributions and related benefits are not taxed until the employee withdraws them from the plan. Because the employer can also make direct contributions to the plan, the employee gains the benefit of having additional tax-free funds accruing.