Your Plan's SPD
If you are looking to learn more about your retirement plan, the best place to look for answers is in your Summary Plan Description, often referred to as an SPD. You should receive a copy of your plan’s SPD around the time you become a participant in the plan. The SPD is a brief description of the legal plan document that governs your retirement plan. It will tell you when you are able to participate, what benefits you are eligible for, what the plan's vesting schedule is, and when you are able to take a withdrawal from the plan.
How much can you contribute?
The limits on contributions change based on cost of living. Click here to view a PDF of the current year limits.
The fees you are paying in your retirement plan are a hot topic in the news these days. Check out this DOL publication to find out more info on 401 plan fees and how they work.
New to your 401k Plan?
Check out this DOL publication on retirement plan savings.
Ready for Retirement?
If you are getting close to retirement age, the DOL has this great packet of information on what to know as you prepare for retirement! It covers your personal retirement plan savings, Medicare and Social Security so you can prepare. Click here to view the DOL Pub Retirement Toolkit.
Can I take my money out of the Plan?
Because your Plan is for tax deferred retirement plan savings, there are a lot of guidelines regarding when you can take a withdrawal. The IRS overview of distribution rules can be found at their website
. Different plan types have different distribution rules and restrictions. Your SPD will include specific distribution options in your retirement plan.
Taxes and penalties
Most retirement plan money is tax deferred. This means you will pay taxes on any money you withdraw from your retirement plan. (There are exceptions for after-tax or Roth accounts in your plan.) Rolling your money to another retirement plan or IRA will continue to defer the taxes until you begin taking the money out of a retirement plan/IRA. When you take a cash withdrawal, you will generally be subject to 20% tax withholding and the distribution amount will be taxed to you as income. The Special Tax Notice
provides a detailed overview to the taxation of retirement plan distributions. Additionally, if you are under age 59 ½, you will pay a 10% premature withdrawal tax. Click here to view a chart of exceptions to the 10% premature withdrawal tax for both Qualified Plans and IRAs.
Taxes and penalties on retirement plan distributions are quite complicated. You are encouraged to discuss with your personal tax consultant to determine how these taxes will affect you.