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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): A Primer

John J. Topoleski
Analyst in Income Security

In response to concerns over the adequacy of retirement savings, Congress has created incentives to encourage individuals to save more for retirement through a variety of retirement plans. Some retirement plans are employer-sponsored (such as 401(k) plans), and others are established by individual employees (such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)). 

This report describes the primary features of two common retirement savings accounts that are available to individuals. Both traditional and Roth IRAs offer tax incentives to encourage individuals to save for retirement. Although the accounts have many features in common, they differ in some very important aspects. This report explains the eligibility requirements, contribution limits, tax deductibility of contributions, and rules for withdrawing funds from the accounts. This report will be updated as legislative activity warrants.

Date of Report: January 28, 2010
Number of Pages: 17
Order Number: RL34397
Price: $29.95

Document available electronically as a pdf file or in paper form.
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