Roth 401k Plans: The 401k Roth Option Designated Roth Accounts
1. Are Roth 401k or Roth 403b a new type of plan?
No, it is not a new type of plan. Designated Roth contributions are a new
type of contribution that can be accepted by new or existing 401k or 403b plans.
This feature is permitted under a Code section added by the
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation
Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), effective for years beginning on or after January
1, 2006. If a plan adopts this feature, employees can designate some or all of
their elective contributions as designated Roth contributions, (which are
included in gross income) rather than traditional, pre-tax elective
contributions. So, starting in 2006, elective contributions come in two types:
traditional, pre-tax elective contributions (elective contributions are also
referred to as elective deferrals) and designated Roth contributions.
2. What is a designated Roth 401k or Roth 403b contribution?
A designated Roth contribution is an elective deferral to a section 401k or
403b plan that has been designated irrevocably by an employee as not excludable
from the employees gross income and to be deposited into a designated Roth
account under the plan. Thus, the contribution is treated by the employer as
includible in the employees gross income at the time the employee would have
received the amount in cash if the employee had not made the election (hence
subject to all applicable wage withholding requirements).
contributions are allowed in 401k plans and 403b plans but not in SAR SEPs or
SIMPLE IRA plans.
3. Are there any limits as to how much I may contribute to my designated
Yes, the combined amount contributed to all designated Roth accounts and
traditional, pre-tax accounts in any one year for any individual is limited by
the 402(g) limit - $15,000 for 2006 ($15,500 in 2007 plus an additional $5,000
in catch-up contributions if age 50 or older.)
4. What is a designated Roth 401k or Roth 403b account?
A designated Roth account is a separate account under a section 401k plan or
section 403b plan to which designated Roth contributions are made, and for which
separate accounting of contributions, gains, and losses is maintained.
separate accounting requirement applies at the time the designated Roth
contribution is contributed to the plan and must continue to apply until the
designated Roth account is completely distributed.