What is a 408(k) Plan? | Retirement Planning

While most of us have heard of the normal 401(ok) retirement plan, it’s removed from the one sort of account provided. For instance, what is a 408(ok) plan? This employer-directed retirement account is a widespread one for small companies—often these with fewer than 25 staff. In truth, it’s truly a simplified model of the 401(ok) program. This simplicity is what makes it possible for small corporations. 
If you’re working for a startup or budding enterprise that gives a 408(ok) plan, it’s sensible to benefit from it. Here’s what you need to find out about how a 408(ok) account impacts your retirement financial savings. 

An Overview of 408(ok) Plans
The first and most necessary factor to find out about 408(ok) plans is that they’re a type of Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan. A SEP is a sort of IRA: a person retirement account that’s established and directed by the employer. Low overhead and startup prices are what make SEPs interesting to small enterprise homeowners. To qualify for a 408(ok) plan, staff should meet particular standards, together with:

Be at the least 21 years previous
Work for the corporate for at the least 3 of the previous 5 years
Earned at the least $600 from the corporate within the present yr
Are not lined by a union retirement plan
Are not a non-resident alien worker

The greatest factor to know about 408(ok) plans is that they’re topic to employer-only contributions. This means staff don’t contribute. Instead, employers specify a share of the worker’s annual revenue to contribute. That quantity could be as much as 25% of the worker’s revenue, however not more than $58,000 yearly. Employees are instantly vested. 
The Difference Between 401(ok) vs. 408(ok) Plans
As talked about, 401(ok) and 408(ok) plans are related in some ways. The key distinction is that a 408(ok) is topic to employer-only contributions. This is in distinction to a 401(ok), the place it’s the worker’s duty to contribute—which a firm could select to match. Because employers management contributions for a 408(ok) plan, it’s necessary that contribution percentages stay equal throughout all staff enrolled. This is a part of anti-discrimination stipulations.  
In making contributions on behalf of staff, companies profit from tax deductions based mostly on the quantity contributed. Moreover, as soon as within the account, staff have management over how they wish to make investments their cash—in contrast to a 401(ok), which is often restricted to funds handpicked by the employer. 
All in all, 408(ok) plans supply staff much less management over the contributions themselves, however extra management in how they’re investing for the long run. 401(ok) plans supply the reverse: staff dictate contributions and employers decide funding standards. 
Who Benefits From 408(ok) Plans?
Small corporations with fewer than 25 staff sometimes profit from the low value of providing a 408(ok) plan. Even extra fashionable are sole proprietorships. 408(ok) packages enable enterprise homeowners to fund retirement with out the boundaries that may include a self-directed IRA. It successfully provides them 401(ok) alternatives not in any other case obtainable. 
While sole proprietorships and partnerships profit tremendously from 408(ok) plans, there are stipulations to pay attention to. These plans are nonetheless topic to a 25% wage contribution cap and a $58,000 annual contribution restrict. Moreover, enterprise homeowners could not qualify for a 408(ok) plan if their revenue exceeds $290,000 yearly. 
It’s necessary to notice that union staff aren’t usually eligible for 408(ok) packages, since collective bargaining agreements entitle them to different retirement advantages. 
Risks and Benefits From 408(ok) Plans
The clear and current good thing about a 408(ok) plan is that it’s a quite simple method for small companies and sole proprietorships to supply retirement choices. This incentivizes small companies and startups to make retirement plans obtainable.
Moreover, although employer-sponsored, your 408(ok) plan is nonetheless a SEP IRA, which implies it’s yours. You can make investments the way you need and management your portfolio allocation as you see match. For savvy traders, this may be a highly effective alternative. On the identical token, it means you’ll have to reallocate and rebalance as your scenario modifications. 
Keep in thoughts that as a result of a 408(ok) plan is employer-sponsored, staff don’t at all times have management over contributions. For instance, these plans enable employers to skip contributions in years when income is down. This means dropping compounding energy in your retirement account. Moreover, contributions aren’t obligatory and employers set the contribution share. This might imply minimal contributions in your behalf. 
The excellent news is that if a 408(ok) plan doesn’t afford you the retirement saving energy you need, you’re nonetheless eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA. Just concentrate on contribution limits for retirement accounts throughout the present fiscal yr. 
How to Make the Most of a 408(ok) Plan
Like a 401(ok) or a 503(b) account, a 408(ok) plan is, at its core, a retirement car. While you don’t have management over the contributions, you do have management over allocation. It’s necessary to maintain a diversified portfolio and to pursue compound curiosity at a danger degree that you just’re comfy with. For some, which means a robust place in progress shares. For others, it’s a dividend-heavy portfolio with a DRIP.
To get forward of your retirement, join the Wealthy Retirement e-letter beneath. You will study from at the moment’s greatest retirement consultants about investing, passive revenue and planning for retirement.
What is a 408(ok) plan? For many Americans and the businesses that make use of them, it’s a simple technique to begin saving for retirement. Each employer contribution takes you one step nearer to a comfy retirement. It’s as much as staff to handle their account and make choices that positively impression them when the time to retire comes round.

Recommended For You