Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) provide tax advantages for retirement savings. You can contribute each year up to the maximum amount allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
There are several types of IRAs available:
- Traditional IRA. Contributions typically are tax-deductible. You pay no taxes on IRA earnings until retirement, when withdrawals are taxed as income.
- Roth IRA. Contributions are made with after-tax funds and are not tax-deductible, but earnings and withdrawals are tax-free.
- SEP IRA. Allows an employer, typically a small business or self-employed individual, to make retirement plan contributions into a traditional IRA established in the employee's name.
- SIMPLE IRA. Is available to small businesses that do not have any other retirement savings plan. The SIMPLE – which stands for Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees – IRA allows employer and employee contributions, similar to a 401(k) plan, but with simpler, less costly administration, and lower contribution limits.
A rollover is a tax-free distribution of cash or other assets from one retirement plan to another retirement plan. The distribution to the second retirement plan is called a “rollover contribution.” The IRS website has information on the benefits of rollovers, and how, when, and where to do a rollover.