The Tax Benefits of Retirement Plan Participation
By establishing and maintaining a retirement plan, you can reap significant benefits for both your employees (if any) and yourself as employer. From your perspective as an employer, one of the main advantages of having and funding a retirement plan is that your employer contributions to the plan are generally tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributing to the plan will therefore reduce your organization’s taxable income, saving money in taxes. The specific rules regarding deductibility of employer contributions are complex and vary by type of plan, however, so you should consult a tax advisor for guidance.
For many employers, perhaps the greatest advantage of having a retirement plan is that these plans appeal to large numbers of employees. In fact, offering a good retirement plan (along with other benefits, such as health insurance) may allow you to attract and retain the employees you want. You will save time and money in the long run if you can hire quality employees, and minimize your employee turnover rate. In addition, employees who feel well rewarded and more secure about their financial future tend to be more productive employees, further improving your business’s bottom line. Such employees are also less likely to organize into collective bargaining units, which can cause major business problems for some employers.
So, why are retirement plans considered such a valuable employee benefit? From the employee’s perspective, key advantages of a retirement plan may include some or all of the following:
- Funds in a retirement plan grow tax deferred, meaning that any investment earnings are not taxed as long as they remain in the plan. The employee generally pays no income tax until he or she begins to take distributions. Depending on investment performance, this creates the potential for more rapid growth than funds held outside a retirement plan.
Caution: Distributions taken before age 59½ may also be subject to a 10 percent federal penalty tax (25 percent in the case of certain distributions from SIMPLE IRA plans).
- Some plans can allow employees to borrow money from their vested balance in the plan. Plan loans are not taxable under certain conditions, and can provide employees with funds to meet key expenses. Plan loans are not without potential drawbacks, however.
- Funds held in a 403(b), 457(b), SEP, SIMPLE, or qualified employer plan are generally fully shielded from an employee’s creditors under federal law in the event of the employee’s bankruptcy. This is in contrast to traditional and Roth IRA funds, which are generally protected only up to $1,171,650 (as of April 1, 2010) under federal law, plus any amounts attributable to a rollover from an employer qualified plan or 403(b) plan. (IRAs may have additional protection from creditors under state law.) Funds held in qualified plans and 403(b)plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) are also fully protected under federal law from the claims of the employee’s and employer’s creditors, even outside of bankruptcy.
For more information on our Retirement & Pension Plans contact one of our Regent Financial Services representatives at 954-786-5863.
Regent Financial Services are available at 1540 South Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, FL 33062 or by appointment at a time and place of your convenience. Investments and insurance products and services are offered through Infinex Investments, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of nor guaranteed or insured by any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk including the possible loss of value.