Consider a Roth 401(k) Plan and Make Sure Employees Use It

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Any bookkeeping, business or tax article contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues, nor a substitute for a formal opinion, nor can it be used to avoid tax-related penalties. If desired, we would be pleased to perform the requisite research and provide you with a detailed written analysis. Such an engagement may be the subject of a separate engagement letter that would define the scope and limits of the desired consultation services.

Roth 401(k) accounts have been around for 13 years now. Studies show that more employers are offering them each year. A recent study by the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) found that Roth 401(k)s are now available at 70% of employer plans, up from 55.6% of plans in 2016.

However, despite the prevalence of employers offering Roth 401(k)s, most employees aren’t choosing to contribute to them. The PSCA found that only 20% of participants who have access to a Roth 401(k) made contributions to one in 2017. Perhaps it’s because they don’t understand them.

If you offer a Roth 401(k) or you’re considering one, educate your employees about the accounts to boost participation.

A 401(k) with a Twist

As the name implies, these plans are a hybrid — taking some characteristics from Roth IRAs and some from employer-sponsored 401(k)s.

An employer with a 401(k), 403(b) or governmental 457(b) plan can offer designated Roth 401(k) accounts.

As with traditional 401(k)s, eligible employees can elect to defer part of their salaries to Roth 401(k)s, subject to annual limits. The employer may choose to provide matching contributions. For 2019, a participating employee can contribute up to $19,000 ($25,000 if he or she is age 50 or older) to a Roth 401(k). The most you can contribute to a Roth IRA for 2019 is $6,000 ($7,000 for those age 50 or older).

Note: The ability to contribute to a Roth IRA is phased out for upper-income taxpayers, but there’s no such restriction for a Roth 401(k).

The Pros and Cons

Unlike with traditional 401(k)s, contributions to employees’ accounts are made with after-tax dollars, instead of pretax dollars. Therefore, employees forfeit a key 401(k) tax benefit. On the plus side, after an initial period of five years, “qualified distributions” are 100% exempt from federal income tax, just like qualified distributions from a Roth IRA. In contrast, regular 401(k) distributions are taxed at ordinary-income rates, which are currently up to 37%.

In general, qualified distributions are those:

  • Made after a participant reaches age 59½, or
  • Made due to death or disability.

Therefore, you can take qualified Roth 401(k) distributions in retirement after age 59½ and pay no tax, as opposed to the hefty tax bill that may be due from traditional 401(k) payouts. And unlike traditional 401(k)s, which currently require retirees to begin taking required minimum distributions after age 70½, Roth 401(k)s have no mandate to take withdrawals.

Not for Everyone

A Roth 401(k) is more beneficial than a traditional 401(k) for some participants, but not all. For example, it may be valuable for employees who expect to be in higher federal and state tax brackets in retirement. Contact us if you have questions about adding a Roth 401(k) to your benefits lineup.

Share this post NOw

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on print
Share on email

Small Business Financial Services

We help you cut through the clutter and noise and helps you focus on a clear path to success. We help you succeed with a reliable bookkeeping, payroll support and income tax reporting
Learn more

Individual Income Tax Services and IRS Response Assistance

Always feeling the stress during tax season, surprise with a huge tax bill, or worrying about receiving an IRS letter? FAS can help make your year-end tax compliance less stressful.
Learn more

US and Canada Cross Border Tax Services

Our experienced staff, combined with our US and Canada locations, allow us to provide the tax support you need, wherever you are, here at home or abroad
Learn more

Running a small business is an extremely challenging task. However with a team like FAS, I do not have to worry about our bookkeeping and tax services.

They are truly great team!
Garage Guys Automotive

Very responsive! FAS bookkeeping service has been an integral part of my consulting business.

I highly recommend FAS to business owners who are looking for a reliable business partner to handle their bookkeeping needs.

Bruce Saxton

I have known Christy for about 5 years. She has assisted several of my clients and me personally.

If you are a business owner, Christy makes an outstanding strategic partner. I highly recommend her.

Gerry Brisson

I started looking for a new bookkeeping and tax service firm as my company was no longer getting the service that we deserve from a bookkeeping firm.

I highly recommend FAS to business owners who are looking for a reliable and professional bookkeeping and tax preparation service firm.

Mark Sargent

 Because of the nature of my business and report requirements from corporate that are time-sensitive.

I can count on Cristy and her team’s eye for detail and reliability to deliver accurate and timely financial information.

Terri Foster

We've been with FAS for years and they are one of the most professional and honest people we've worked with.

I highly recommend Cristy, Dennis and FAS Bookkeeping & Tax Services Firm.

Katie To

Being a small business owner means we’re always constrained by time and resource.

I highly recommend FAS for your bookkeeping and tax preparation needs.

Roy Andrade
FAS, with Cristy & Dennis, has been an important part of our progress as a company and I will not hesitate recommending them to business owners who are looking for a serious business partner for such a sensitive financial matter.
Jorge Vasquez
I have referred Cristy to many of our clients and have always been impressed by her professionalism and dedication to her customers.

If you own a small business and operate in the Houston or Katy area you will benefit from working with Cristy on your financials
Roland Parker
Christy is an awesome bookkeeper and adviser. I highly recommend her for personal tax and business tax.

Not only she help with our taxes, she even organize our entire book keeping for very reasonable price.
Kayla Cory
FAS is the best bookkeeping services I have encountered in my 39 years of self employment. They are hard working, ethical and honest in every aspect of their professional lives.

Both Dennis and Cristy have gone way beyond their normal duties to provide services at the highest level.
Marv Conway