401(k) Plan (For comparison only)

Who is eligible?Employees whose employers offer the plan (private employers, some nonprofit employers)
Before-tax contributions?Yes
Limits on employee contributions (2018)Up to $18,500
Age 50+ catch-up contributions$6,000
Other catch-upNo
Distributions while still employed (in-service distributions)Only on hardship if under age 59 ½
Distributions without tax penalties

Retirement after age 55

 

Death or disability

 

Payments after age 59 ½

 

Lifetime annuity or installments

 

Rollover to other qualified plan or IRA

Distributions with penalties410% prior to age 59 ½, except as above
Required minimum distributionsApril 1 following the year participant reaches age 70 ½
Tax treatment of distributionsOrdinary income tax
LoansYes, if plan permits
Rollovers to other plans5

Yes — to 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan

Yes — to IRA

 

403(b) Plan

Who is eligible?Employees of nonprofits such as public schools and some hospitals, charitable organizations
Before-tax contributions?Yes
Limits on employee contributions (2018)Up to $18,500
Age 50+ catch-up contributions$6,000
Other catch-upYes — 15-year rule1
Distributions while still employed (in-service distributions)Only on hardship if under age 59 ½
Distributions without tax penalties

Retirement after after 55

 

Death or disability

 

Payments after age 59 ½

 

Lifetime annuity or installments

 

Rollover to other qualified plan or IRA

Distributions with penalties410% prior to age 59 ½, except as above
Required minimum distributionsApril 1 following the year participant reaches age 70 ½
Tax treatment of distributionsOrdinary income tax
LoansYes, if plan permits
Rollovers to other plans5

Yes — to 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan

Yes — to IRA

 

457 Plan

Who is eligible?State and local government employees
Before-tax contributions?Yes
Limits on employee contributions (2018)Up to $18,500
Age 50+ catch-up contributions$6,000
Other catch-upYes — final 3-year provision2
Distributions while still employed (in-service distributions)Only on account of unforeseeable emergency
Distributions without tax penalties

Termination of employment at any age

 

Death or disability

 

Unforeseeable emergency

 

Rollovers

Distributions with penalties4None while employed, and no 10% penalty upon termination
Required minimum distributionsApril 1 following the year participant reaches age 70 ½
Tax treatment of distributionsOrdinary income tax
LoansYes, if plan permits
Rollovers to other plans5

Yes — to 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan

Yes — to IRA

 

Roth 403(b) Plan

Who is eligible?Employees of nonprofits such as public schools and some hospitals, charitable organizations
Before-tax contributions?No
Limits on employee contributions (2018)Up to $18,500
Age 50+ catch-up contributions$6,000
Other catch-up Yes — 15-year rule1
Distributions while still employed (in-service distributions)Only on hardship if under age 59 ½
Distributions without tax penalties

Age 59 ½ and have held account for at least five years

 

Death or disability

 

Other provisions same as 403(b)

Distributions with penalties4Same as 403(b)
Required minimum distributionsSame as 403(b)
Tax treatment of distributionsTax-free if qualified distributions
LoansYes, if plan permits
Rollovers to other plans5To another designated Roth account, but only by direct rollover

 

Roth 457 Plan

Who is eligible?State and local government employees
Before-tax contributions?No
Limits on employee contributions (2018)Up to $18,500
Age 50+ catch-up contributions$6,000
Other catch-upYes — final 3-year provision2
Distributions while still employed (in-service distributions)Only on account of unforeseeable emergency
Distributions without tax penalties

Termination of employment at any age3

 

Unforeseeable emergency3

 

Death or disability

 

Rollover to another designated roth account or Roth IRA

Distributions with penalties4None
Required minimum distributionsSame as 457
Tax treatment of distributionsTax-free if qualified distributions
LoansYes, if plan permits
Rollovers to other plans5To another designated Roth account, but only by direct rollover

 

1 Eligible employees with 15 or more years of full-time service may be able to contribute up to $3,000 more for five years or maximum of $15,000.

2 May be eligible to defer up to two times the contribution limit in effect for the final three years of service. Employees cannot participate in the 3-year catch-up and the 457 plan age 50+ catch-up during the same tax-year.

3 Ordinary income taxes may be due if not a qualified distribution, generally after age 59 ½ and have held an account at least five years.

4 May also be subject to income taxes as noted below.

5 Rollover may be subject to restrictions by vendor and the school district plan sponsor.