With a 401(k), money is typically contributed from your earnings into your 401(k) account with each payroll and placed into an investment of your choosing from a retirement appropriate fund roster. Individuals can select a percentage or amount to defer from their salary each payroll. This money is invested with the goal for it to grow over time and help fund each employee’s retirement.
Taxes aren’t paid on this money until it’s withdrawn in retirement. Of course, many plans now also offer a Roth 401(k) feature that allows participants to make after-tax contributions to their plans, and this money is not taxed when withdrawn in retirement. If an employer offers a match or other contributions to employee accounts, these monies are always provided on a tax-deferred basis.
401(k)s offer significantly higher contribution limits than most if not all other retirement solutions in the United States, allowing you to save more each year.
401(k)s offer tax breaks and deductions for your business. Most company costs associated with operating a 401(k) plan can be deducted at tax time – including any contributions your company makes to the plan. Those starting a plan with employees can also qualify for tax credits. And of course, owners also receive personal tax benefits if they contribute to their 401(k) account.
As the plan sponsor and/or trustee, you select the rules for who is eligible to participate, whether your company will match contributions, how long before employees become vested, and more.
You can roll your 401(k) over if you decide to start another company, retire or convert to an IRA if/when you leave the business.
Strong benefits can help retain your team. Research indicates that 61% of employees would leave their current employer for a similar job if it offered better retirement benefits1. Whether you're recruiting or seeking to keep your current employees, a 401(k) is a terrific incentive.
1 Employee Retirement Study conducted by Wakefield Research for ShareBuilder 401k, August 2018