Simple IRA

Online Guide to
Simple IRA
Retirement Plans

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Simple IRA
Simple IRA (n. - definition) - an employer sponsored retirement plan that is designed for small businesses with less than 100 employees.

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  • Simple IRA plans are available starting in 1997 and only for companies with less than 100 eligible employees.

  • Companies with 100 or fewer employees that offer a Simple IRA retirement plan starting in 2002 or later, (assuming no plan in the last 3 years) receive a tax credit to offset administration and employee educational expense for the first three years of the plan.

  • Low income Simpel IRA plan participants receive a tax credit for plan participation; however, participant must be at least 18 years of age, cannot be a full time student and cannot be a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

  • C Corporations, S Corporation, Single Employee Corporations, Self Employed, Not For Profit Corporations, Professional Corporations, and the like can establish a Company Simple IRA plan.

  • Companies with a Company Simple IRA Plan cannot have another company pension plan.

  • Simple IRA plan funding (2005) comes from voluntary employee salary deferral ($10000 per year maximum), plus mandatory employer % of salary match (3% to 1%).

  • Starting in 2002, a catch up contribution provision is available for individuals over 50 years of age, which for 2005 is $2,000.

  • Every eligible employee who meets the requirements of the Simple IRA plan as established by the employer must be offered access to the plan.

  • Every W-2 individual employee (including husbands, wives, and children employed by the company) can voluntarily put 100% of their income into a Simple IRA up to maximum of $10000 each per year.

  • Effectively, a very highly compensated individual (including owner) can put up to $16,000 maximum yearly into their Company Simple IRA account. $10000 would be from salary reduction and $6000 from the company match assuming match was 3% and salary was $200,000 per year.

  • Husbands and wives employed by a company can put in between $16,000 and $32,000 into their combined IRAs assuming 3% employer match and depending on their income levels.

  • Employer must match employee contribution dollar-for-dollar up to 3% of compensation ONLY for all eligible employees who voluntarily elect to participate in the Simple IRA plan. However, an employer can lower the percentage to 1% for any two out of every five years.

  • There is NO match for those who do not want to be in plan. OR employer can elect to contribute 2% of salary of all eligible employees whether they want to be in plan or not.

  • Employer has flexibility regarding length of employment (from one day to maximum of two years) and income level when defining who is eligible for plan. Union employees under collective bargaining can be eliminated as eligible for plan.

  • However, eligible employees MUST include those who have earned at least $5000 in compensation in the prior TWO YEARS and who are reasonably expected to receive $5000 during the coming year.

  • No-cost turnkey plans are offered by various fund and annuity companies.

  • There is no annual discrimination or top heavy testing required for plan, no IRS filing, and no 5500 reporting.

  • Employee salary reduction is made on a pre-tax basis and excludable from current income tax. Employer matching contribution are deductible (if made by due date, including extensions, for employer's tax return).

  • Participants are always 100% vested immediately. This includes salary reduction and employer matching contribution.

  • Loans are not permitted and there is a two year waiting period before money can be rolled into an IRA or ROTH IRA.

  • Assets can be rolled from one Simple IRA to another Simple IRA.

  • Withdrawals from a Simple IRA are subject to a 25% tax penalty during the first two years if under 59 1/2; 10% penalty after two years and under 59 1/2.

  • Distributions are generally taxed under rules governing IRAs.

  • Participants direct their own investments within different asset classes within a family of mutual funds and or variable annuities.

  • Generally, 100% of contributions are placed into mutual funds or variable annuities within a Simple IRA plan, if funds are transferred out of the plan, a deferred sale charge may apply.

  • Both employer and employee contribution can only come directly from employer and these contributions are sent directly to participant accounts at the mutual fund, variable annuity company.

  • Participants can transfer their monies toll free between mutual funds investment account, and or variable annuity sub accounts, at no cost.

  • Participants directly receive monthly statements and trade confirmations on any account switches.

  • Frequently a Company Simple IRA plan offers employers far greater tax saving and economic advantage at less direct and indirect cost than 401Ks, Simple 401Ks, other type retirement plans, SEP-IRA's and/or IRAs.

  • Contributions to other plans can be stopped, and held tax deferred until retirement, and a Company Simple IRA can be instituted in place of these other plans.

  • Part time or 1099 income individuals can have a Simple IRA plan for this income, even though they might be employed and participate in their other employer's 401K, 403B, SEP-IRA, etc.

  • All Mutual Funds, Variable Annuities and Variable Life Insurance policies are offered by prospectus ONLY. For complete information including charges and expenses obtain a prospectus, and read it carefully before you invest.

  • Mutual Fund, Variable Annuity and Variable Life prospectuses are available directly from the issuing companies when product information is requested, and in some cases, they can be downloaded directly on the issuing company's internet website.

  • The tax deferral characteristic associated with variable annuities is not needed when used in an account that is by definition tax deferred (retirement accounts) and according to some sources variable annuities generally have higher fees and internal expenses than mutual funds.

  • Systematic and dollar cost averaging within Mutual Funds, Variable Annuities and Variable Life insurance policies does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets. It involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuating prices and the investor should consider his or her financial ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels.

  • Investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and variable annuities does not guarantee a profit.

  • All of these investments can lose money. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds and variable annuities are not FDIC insured.

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College Planning
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529 College Saving Plans
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Scholarships - Loans
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Copyright © 1998-2007. Simple IRA Retirement Plan Information Guide. All rights reserved.

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