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Health Savings Account (HSA)
What is a Health Savings Account (“HSA”)?

What is a 529 plan?
Saving for College with 529 Plans

A Roth IRA for your kids? Yes, you can.
Here's a tax strategy you haven't heard before: Hire your kids to handle domestic duties and put their pay into a Roth IRA

To Roth or not to Roth 401(k)
The pros and cons of a Roth 401(k) vs. a regular 401(k)

Roth 401(k)

What is Roth 401(k)?


The Roth 401(k) combines some of the most advantageous aspects of both the 401(k) and the Roth IRA. Under the Roth 401(k), employees can decide to contribute funds on a post-tax elective deferral basis, in addition to, or instead of, pre-tax elective deferrals under their traditional 401(k) plans. An employee's combined elective deferrals-- whether to a traditional 401(k), a Roth 401(k), or to both-- cannot exceed $15,500 for tax year 2008 if a participant is under 50; if they are over 50, they may contribute an additional $5,000. Employer's matching funds are not included in the $15,500 elective deferral cap, but are considered for the maximum section 415 limit, which is $46,000 for 2008. Employers are permitted to match contributions to a designated Roth account, but the matching funds must be made on a pre-tax basis, not be made into the designated Roth account, and cannot receive the Roth tax treatment.

In general, the difference between a Roth 401(k) and a traditional 401(k) is that the Roth version is funded with after-tax dollars while the traditional 401(k) is funded with pre-tax dollars. After-tax dollars represent money for which taxes are paid in the current year, and pre tax dollars are those which do not represent federal taxable income in the current year. Typically, the earnings on Roth contributions will be tax free as long as the distribution is made at least 5 years after the first Roth contribution and the attainment of age 59 and one half, unless an exception applies.

A Roth 401(k) plan will probably be most advantageous to those who might otherwise choose a Roth IRA, for example, younger workers who are currently taxed in a lower tax bracket, but expect to be taxed in a higher bracket upon reaching retirement age. The Roth 401(k) offers the advantage of tax free distribution, but is not constrained by income limitations. For example, normal Roth IRA contributions are limited to $5,000; whereas, up to $15,500 could be contributed to a Roth 401(k) account, provided no other elective deferrals were taken for the tax year (no traditional 401(k) deferrals taken).

Adoption of Roth 401(k) plans has been relatively slow, and stated reasons for this include the fact that they require additional administrative recordkeeping and payroll processing. However some larger firms have now adopted Roth 401(k) plans, and this is expected to spur their adoption by other firms including smaller ones.