Plan Education

Retirement Plan Comparison

 401(k) Plan403(b) Plan457(b) Plan
Eligible EmployersAvailable to any employer other than a state or local government entityAvailable to public education employers and non-profit tax-exempt organizations (e.g., schools, colleges & universities, churches, public hospitals & certain tax-exempt charitable organizations)Available to a state or local government entity
Employee EligibilityEmployer may exclude certain employees, but plan must pass coverage & nondiscrimination testsPlan must be "universally available" to employeesMay cover both employees & independent contractors
Employee Contributions (2020)Up to $19,500 in pre-tax traditional contributions (& Roth if the plan allows)
Additional $6,500 catch-up contribution if age 50 or older
Up to $19,500 in pre-tax traditional contributions (& Roth if the plan allows)
Additional $6,500 catch-up contribution if age 50 or older
Up to $19,500 in pre-tax traditional contributions (& Roth if the plan allows)
Additional $6,500 catch-up contribution if age 50 or older
Employer ContributionsMatching contributions & profit sharing contributions are common. Click here to view your plan.Permitted, but not common. Click here to view your plan.Permitted, but not common. Click here to view your plan.
DistributionsEmployee contributions may be taken after:

  • Plan termination
  • Age 59 1/2
  • Severance from employment
  • Disability
  • Death
    Employee contributions may be taken after:

    • Plan termination
    • Age 59 1/2
    • Severance from employment
    • Disability
    • Death
      Employee contributions may be taken after:

      • Plan termination
      • Age 59 1/2
      • Severance from employment
      • Disability
      • Death
        10% Early Distribution Tax if Younger than Age 59 1/2YesYesNo
        Loans & Hardship DistributionsPlan may allow loans.
        Plan may allow hardship distributions & will define "hardship."
        Plan may allow loans.
        Plan may allow hardship distributions & will define "hardship."
        Play may allow loans.
        Distributions may be available for “unforeseen emergencies.”
        Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)You generally must begin taking annual distributions when you reach age 72You generally must begin taking annual distributions when you reach age 72You generally must begin taking annual distributions when you reach age 72

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