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401(k) Plans Basics

The way workers save for retirement changed with the introduction of 401(k) retirement plans, which shifted the focus from traditional pension fund retirement plans. The Internal Revenue Service puts limits on the amount an employee can deposit in the plan.

401(k) Plans Industry Overview

The 401k plan grew from a little known tax code loophole--which is where the 401k name came from--to the most common way workers invest for their retirement. This industry possesses trillions of dollars in allocated 401k retirement plan contributions.

401k Rollover for Beginners

Whether you’re preparing to leave your current company or are advising departing employees from your company, familiarizing yourself with 401k rollover basics is a must. Knowing the advantages of moving your retirement savings into another account or leaving funds in a current account can affect your financial future.

Pension - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[edit]. Main article: Defined benefit pension plan. A traditional defined benefit (DB ) plan is a plan in which the benefit on ...

Pension Plan Definition | Investopedia

In many ways, a pension plan is a method in which an employee transfers part of his or her current income stream toward retirement income. There are two main ...

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Pension plans - Ultimate Guide to Retirement - CNN Money

A pension is a retirement account that an employer maintains to give you a fixed payout when you retire.

Pension Plans Beat 401(k) Savers Silly -- Here's Why - Forbes

Jun 4, 2013 ... If you were aiming to save enough money to retire, really retire, and feel secure in your old age, would you be better off in a traditional pension ...

Consumer Information on Retirement Plans - US Department of Labor

Provides consumer pension plan information including information on the federal pension law, ERISA.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cash Balance Pension Plans

There are two general types of pension plans — defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans. In general, defined benefit plans provide a specific benefit ...

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp - PBGC Protects America's Pensions

Responsible for insuring certain benefits under private defined benefit pension plans. Also allows individuals to search for lost pensions.

10 Things Pension Plans Won't Tell You - MarketWatch

Sep 13, 2011 ... Not long ago, many jobs came with a pension -- monthly checks paid upon retirement for the rest of an employee's life. But nowadays, workers ...

State & Local Pension Plans | Center for Retirement Research

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has undertaken a comprehensive initiative on state and local government retirement plans. Under this ...

Small Business Pensions


Sooner or later, retirement is upon everyone, ready or not. Small business owners face a double challenge: Finding and keeping people who matter long term to their business, and funding a personal nest egg for the day their own retirement comes.

Although the plans (and obscure government acronyms) are plentiful, the bottom line is:

  1. Simplicity for your employees
  2. Effective tax treatments for both you and your people
  3. Confidence that the plan will work

Select a plan that employees can contribute to

Most small businesses that have retirement plans use the type that includes an employee contribution, such as a 401(k).
Internal Revenue Service Web site. See plan details in the PDF file of IRS Pub. 560 Retirement Plans for Small Business.

Understand the rules

SEP or SIMPLE? 401(k) or IRA? In an effort to serve many kinds of business entities, the government has created its usual thicket of confusing options. Get a grip first on where your organization fits.
short guide (a PDF file) to choosing a plan.

Regulatory concerns for small business

Once you decide to offer a retirement plan, your legal responsibilities to members of the plan kick in, and they can last for a long time.
fiduciary responsibilities under federal law is posted by the U.S. Department of Labor.

See your local banker

Banks have moved into provisioning retirement plans, and you might find that your existing relationships can lead you to the best deal, as well as personal guidance.

Price a national name

Mutual funds sellers have begun to work the small business vineyard too. Don't assume that you don't have enough employees to qualify. Big-name operations run retail branches across the country and most are anxious to roll up small and medium-sized business before the banks get the customers.

Talk to your tax preparer

The government dangles plenty of carrots to both you and your employees to take part in some kind of retirement plan. They know full well that destitute retirees will fall to future taxpayers, so take advantage of the upside offered now.
  • So-called defined-benefit plans, what most people mean when they say "pension plan," are more expensive to start and run, but they can offer some advantages. Talk to your accountant in detail on this one.
  • Don't put it off. A retirement plan for your employees (and yourself) is a great retention tool and offers tax savings today.
  • Carefully consider how much it will cost to operate your plan. A company with only a few dozen employees is far different, cost-wise, than several hundred. When comparing offerings, take into account current headcount and future growth.
  • Strangely, employees often fail to join retirement plans. Make sure they understand fully any matching incentives and that your provider is willing to conduct information sessions. Otherwise, the retention aspect is lost.