Wednesday, August 14, 2019

What is a 401k Plan and How Do I Calculate It?

401k plan is an employer-sponsored retirement plan in the U.S and several other countries. It was named after a section of the United States International Revenue Code. Money put into the 401k account is usually deducted from the individuals' taxable income.

The amount is only taxed when withdrawing which happens after the age of 59. If the money is to be withdrawn any earlier, both income and an extra charge of 10% penalty are owed. About 401K earnings It's never too early to begin saving to secure a comfortable retirement.

You should know that the sooner you can start saving and invest in a 401k account, the more you are able to accumulate interest over the year. It is advisable to keep a keen eye on how you are doing by calculating your earnings occasionally. 

This can be helpful since you might need to make changes on your investment based on your tolerance for risk, age and the number of years before you retire. Calculate your earnings One of the best tools you can use to secure a comfortable retirement is a 401K plan.

A 401K plan provides you with 2 very important advantages. First, all your contributions and earnings are never subject to tax. the second advantage is that many employers often provide matching contributions to your account which ranges from 0% to 100% of your personal contributions.

Here is how to calculate your 401k earnings

1. You will need a copy of your most recent 401K statements. These statements are mostly sent quarterly. 

2. Note the initial balance, the amount your employer contributed to your account and the amount of contribution you made. Sum up all these factors to get their total.

3. Subtract the total you got from step 2 above from your end balance. The amount you find is your gain for that period.

4. Divide the amount from step 3 above (Your gain) by the total calculated from step

5. Multiply the result you got by 100 to find the percentage gain for your 401K account for the specific period.

Example: If your initial balance plus total contributions are $15,000 and you got your gain as $500, your percentage gain for that period will be approximately 3.33%. If you have a quarterly statement, then you will multiply the figure by 4. You will get an annual percentage gain of 13.32%.

You can also calculate your income tax on your 401K withdrawal. Here is how to do it and estimate your expected amount.

1. Estimate your annual taxable income. To do this, add up all your taxable income for the year like salaries, wages and interests then subtract any taxes such as standard deductions.

2. Find your tax bracket in the IRS publication 17 based on the estimated taxable income.

3. Multiply the amount in your 401K account with your marginal income tax rate.

4. If you are taking a non-qualified distribution from your federal 401k plan, add a 10% penalty to the amount of your federal taxes. Do not make any exception. All non-qualified distributions are distributions before the age of 59 1/2.

5. Multiply your 401k plan withdrawal amount by your tax rate.

6. Finally, add your federal and taxes with an early withdrawal penalty to get your total taxes on your 401K withdrawal amount.

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