To Roth or not to Roth

Just like the original Roth IRA, the Roth 401(k) account has the specific advantage of growing tax-free, but the 401(k) version doesn't have the associated income limits.

A compelling feature of a 401(k) plan has always been the opportunity to contribute money from your current income on a pre-tax basis today, let it work for you over the years - and then pay taxes on the accumulated balance as you withdraw it in future. That's a real attraction to many company owners and their employees. But what if you flipped this process and contributed money to your retirement savings account with post-tax dollars that you invested over time and then had the opportunity to withdraw the accumulated balance tax free including the earnings. That's what happens in a Roth account.

Just like the original Roth IRA, the Roth 401(k) account has the specific advantage of growing tax-free, but the 401(k) version doesn't have the associated income limits. When we offer a Roth feature in your plan, it's managed as a separate source of money so that contributions, earnings and distributions are tracked separately from pre-tax sources. Contributing money in a Roth account isn't right for everyone. It depends on your age, your income, what tax bracket you're in and what tax bracket you may likely be in at retirement. A Roth account tends to be most useful if you expect to be in a higher tax bracket when you retire than you're in during the years while you're contributing to your plan.

For example:

  • A Roth account can benefit a younger employee looking to get a jump on his/her retirement savings before he/she enter a higher tax bracket later in his/her career.
  • It may also benefit a high income earner who would like to have a balance of tax-free money available in retirement.
  • It can also be helpful to a saver who may be close to the required minimum distribution age.

Offering a Roth feature does add responsibilities for you, your advisor and recordkeeper to provide greater education and engage with employees by explaining the pros and cons of contributing to a Roth account.

Questions?

We invite you to contact Brad Bechtel using the information below and discuss the details and benefits in establishing a Roth 401(k) account in your plan.

Brad Bechtel

Senior Vice President
Employee Benefit Services

Brad Bechtel leads AGH’s employee benefit services (EBS) division, which serves clients nationwide. EBS is one of the region's largest providers of retirement plan recordkeeping services for daily valuation plans. The division provides consulting services to clients on employee benefit plans, including plan design, implementation, operation, fiduciary due diligence, compliance, and through affiliate AGH Wealth Management, discretionary and non-discretionary investment fiduciary services, investment advisory services and employee education.

Bechtel is experienced in executive compensation, including non-qualified, phantom stock, top hat and excess benefit plans, as well as other deferred compensation approaches. He has consulted for numerous Fortune 500 corporations on investment management and fiduciary due diligence. He also provides search and selection due diligence consulting services for companies seeking new investment and recordkeeping providers for their qualified plans. Bechtel is a registered investment advisor who holds Series 7, 24 and 66 FINRA registrations, and he is a member of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries.

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