Investor's wiki

408(k) Plan

408(k) Plan

What Is a 408(k) Plan?

The term 408(k) account alludes to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. A 408(k) plan permits employees to put to the side pretax dollars away for retirement that develop on a tax-deferred basis, making it a type of individual retirement account (IRA). This means that individuals pay taxes when they make withdrawals after they turn 59\u00bd. Plans like these are planned for smaller companies and self-employed individuals. The 408(k) is commonly alluded to as a simplified employee pension (SEP) plan; it is the SEP form of the famous 401(k) plan.

Understanding a 408(k) Plan

Segment 408(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) frames the rules and regulations associated with SEP and salary reduction simplified employee pension (SARSEP) accounts, prominently individual retirement account or individual retirement annuities. To that end SEP plans are frequently alluded to as 408(k) plans.

The IRC features the requirements required to take part in a 408(k) plan. Plans are accessible to small business owners who operate with 25 or less employees and to self-employed individuals. Participants qualify in the event that they are:

  • Beyond 21 years old
  • Worked for somewhere around three of the last five years for the employer
  • Were compensated somewhere around $650 by the employer

Annual employer contributions can't surpass the lesser of 25% of the employee's pay or $58,000 for 2021 ($61,000 for 2022). The annual compensation limit can't be calculated on salaries surpassing $290,000 for 2021 ($305,000 in 2022). The maximum deduction guaranteed on a business tax return for contributions is the lesser of the total contributions into employees' accounts or 25% of compensation.

Plan holders can make withdrawals from their 408(k) plans whenever — the same way they would from traditional IRAs. In any case, there are certain conditions that apply. For example, most individuals make withdrawals after they turn 59\u00bd. Any distributions from these plans before that age cause a 10% early withdrawal penalty. Withdrawals must be made as required least distributions (RMDs) when you reach 72.

Dissimilar to traditional retirement plans, SEPs don't have similar beginning up or administrative costs.

408(k) Plans versus 401(k) Plans

As indicated over, a 408(k) is are one type of employer-sponsored retirement plan. The 401(k) plan is the most common option and is offered by far most of American corporations. The plan permits taxpayers to make pretax contributions through automatic payroll deductions and employer matches for those that make them.

Plan reform has rolled out several improvements to benefit employees, including lower fees and investment options. The average 401(k) plan currently offers almost two dozen investment options by adjusting risk and reward, as per an employee's inclinations. Dissimilar to a SEP, employees might add to a 401(k) plan. Furthermore, self-employed individuals who work for a company with a 401(k) can add to that plan, too.

Participation in traditional 401(k) plans keeps on developing. These plans held generally $7.3 trillion in assets toward the finish of September 2021, which addressed around one-fifth of the retirement market in the United States. There were 600,000 active plans in the country with a total of 60 million employees and retired folks in 2020.

The following are a couple of different realities connected with the 401(k) that taxpayers ought to be aware:

  • Contribution limits for 401(k) plans are indexed to inflation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permits employees to set aside to $19,500 for 2021 and $20,500 for 2022. Catch-up contributions of $6,500 each year are likewise took into account individuals 50 or more established.
  • Withdrawals before the age of 59\u00bd frequently bring about a 10% early withdrawal penalty, except if an exemption is applied. Taxes are forced on any withdrawals made as contributions are made with pretax earnings.
  • Individuals are required to accept RMDs as of the age of 72.


  • The 408(k) plan is accessible to companies with 25 or less employees and self-employed individuals who are subject to a similar contribution limits as employers.
  • Just employer contributions are permitted into the 408(k) plan.
  • The IRS limits how much employers can add to their employees' 408(k) plans.
  • A 408(k) is an employer-sponsored retirement plan similar to a 401(k).
  • The plan is likewise alluded to as a simplified employee pension, which is a type of individual retirement account.