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National Retirement Security Week: Retirement Plan Limits

BOSTON (CBS) - Among large employers, 92% offer a retirement savings plan, but the number drops to 72% for employers with fewer than 100 workers, but not all employees take advantage of the plans offered.

401(k) plans are mostly used in private industry but are available to any employer to set up. The 403(b) plans are for nonprofit organizations such as schools and hospitals. The 457 plan covers state, county and city employees and the Thrift Savings Plan is for federal employees.

Also available for some employees a new option, the Roth 401(k) plan, where you contribute the dollars after taxes and the withdrawals in retirement would be free of federal income tax. Most employers are not offering a Roth 401(k) just yet. There are Roth 457 plans as well, more popular in Florida than here.

This year the contribution limit is $18,000 for these retirement plans. But you have to be able to earn enough so that you have the extra $18,000 to contribute. About 10% of workers were able to do that last year.

If you are working for a small company with fewer than 100 employees they may be offering a SIMPLE IRA (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) for your retirement plan, the limit this year is $12,500 and employers match up to 3%.

And if your employer does not offer a retirement plan, you are not off the hook. You can set up an IRA very easily at a mutual fund company, your local bank, or some of the big financial institutions like Fidelity or Schwab. Fidelity has store front offices where you can walk in for some help.

You can contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA. You must have earned income to contribute. This includes the traditional IRA where you get a tax deduction for the contribution, a Spousal IRA where one of the spouses must have earned income, a Roth IRA where you make your contribution with after tax dollars. An FYI, Alimony is considered earned income when contributing to an IRA.


You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee's Money Matters newsletter here.

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