Defined Contribution Plan

Defined Contribution Plan

Nowadays, retirement savings is your responsibility–not your employer’s and not the government’s.

In 1978, the 401(k) plan was introduced in the U.S. and has since become the employer-sponsored retirement plan of choice. The reason for its popularity has a lot to do with the increased trend for employees to change jobs more often. In fact, the odds are that today’s employee is unlikely to stay with the same company for more than 5 years.

The defined contribution plan allows an employee to change jobs and still have the ability to maintain a retirement savings account. For employers, the defined contribution plan has become more attractive as a result of:

  • Recent changes in pension and tax laws.
  • Less regulation and paperwork required with these plans.
  • Lower costs to fund and administer these plans.

The most popular defined contribution plans are the 401(k) and the 403(b).

401(k)
The 401(k) is a retirement plan, offered by private companies, where the actual contribution to the plan is defined–but the end-result benefit upon retirement is not.

403(b)
These plans are very similar to 401(k) plans–but offered by state and federal government agencies to their employees.

The electronic Social Security online retirement planner was launched on April 7, 2000. The site allows you to:

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