Showing posts with label 401k plan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 401k plan. Show all posts

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 If the money is to be withdrawn any earlier, both income and an extra charge of 10% penalty are owed.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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Sunday, June 2, 2013

401k's Still the Best Way to Save For Retirement

The 401k has been a golden standard for methods that employees have at their advantage for putting away retirement funds. The 401k involves setting aside part of your paycheck into a different special IRS designated 401(k) account and having your employer match your contribution. 

The advantage of the 401k, besides your employer matching to some percentage your deposit, is that it is tax deferred. At the time of deferral, the set aside money is not subject to income tax and is not included in taxable income on the employee's tax return. This means that if you set aside $10,000 from your $100,000 salary, you can report $90,000 as your income for that year. The $10,000 will be taxed only if and when you withdraw it from your account.

But of course, to find the best 401k plan includes a multitude of aspects to consider when choosing the best one. These include:

Type of Plan: A number of 401(k) plans are available to employers who wish to aid in their employees’ retirement plans: traditional, safe harbor, and SIMPLE, each with respective rules and regulations. In order to achieve tax-favored status, the plan must abide by the certain stipulations. This requires that employers familiarize themselves with the rules, to guarantee accordance

  • Traditional 401(k) plans: A traditional 401(k) plan enables eligible employees to opt for pre-tax deferrals by payroll deduction. Within this plan, employers also have the option to make contributions on the employee's behalf, either through matching contributions of elective deferrals or simply providing the deferral themselves. To ensure proper employer compliance and verify that employer contributions were not discriminatory, the employer must perform annual tests known as the ADP and ACP, or the Actual Deferral Percentage and Actual Contribution Percentage.
  • Safe harbor 401(k) plans: A safe harbor plan is similar to the traditional plan but adds on the stipulation that employer contributions must be fully vested when made. Unlike the traditional 401(k) plan, the safe harbor plan is not subject to the ADP and ACP.
  • SIMPLE 401(k) plans: The SIMPLE plan was created to suit the needs of small businesses by providing the framework for an effective, cost-efficient option for retirement benefits. Like the safe harbor plan the SIMPLE plan does not require the ADP and ACP test, and the employer must make fully vested contributions. The plan is only available for employers with 100 or fewer employees who received a minimum of $5,000 in compensation within the past calendar year.

Insurance: Whether the plan has an account, contract, or policy with an insurance company to provide protection such as guaranteed investment contracts.

Type of Plan: Single-employer plans, multiple-employer plans, and direct filing entities all have different implications, benefits, and perks.

Fees: Different fees can seriously stunt growth, even if they exist at small percentages. For example, consider an employee who has a 401(k) account balance of $25,000 and 35 years until retirement. If returns continue over the next 35 years and 7% fees reduce average returns by 0.5%, the account balance will reach $227,000 by time of retirement, even without further account contributions. If the fees and expenses are just 1% higher, at 1.5%, the account balance will only reach $163,000 given the same circumstances. This 1% fee difference reduced the effective balance by 28%.

For a more in depth guide, visit FindTheBest’s guide to understanding 401k plans. FindTheBest also has comparisons for mortgage rates by state and registered investment advisors (RIAs).

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