401(k) Plan: A Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Savings

401(k) Plan

If you’re an employee working in America, you can take the incentive of the employee’s retirement savings plan. It was introduced in 1978 with the name of the provision of the Revenue Act, 1978. 

In this act, if an employee serves under a company, he will get a particular percentage of his paycheck deducted for the employee’s retirement plan. This specific amount will get deposited the their account, and over time, it will provide a massive corpus for them at the time of retirement.

Let’s explore the plan more in detail in this article.


A 401(k) retirement savings plan contributes a specific percentage that will provide tax advantage to them in future, which is deducted to deposit in the employee’s retirement provident fund.

The employee can choose to contribute in various sectors (like, mutual funds, equity, bonds) to allocate their taxable income, which will give them greater revenue with the span of time. 

Here, the employer also contributes his small percentage of salary, which aims to enhance the employee’s funds depending on the percentage deduction of the employee. Therefore, it is a highly advantageous option for the employees of a company.


It is entitled under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) of America that provides distinct tax advantages to these individuals.

They are mainly grouped as two versions: – 1. Traditional 401(k) and 2. Roth 401(k)

In the Traditional 401(k), the employee’s percentage is deducted before the taxes. In this way, the employee gets the taxable income i.e. the income, which is after the deduction of the retirement savings payments. Also, you will not get taxed in the overall investment money as long as you don’t withdraw it during the time of retirement.

On the other hand, Roth 401(k) refers to the deduction, which is done after payment of tax. Since it is deducted after tax, you may be charged during withdrawal of the money before a significant amount of time.

The employee at the first hand selects the amount of contributions and channels. The earlier the transaction is started the greater the amount is built up at the time of retirement.


The advantages of 401(k) retirement planning are as follows:-

  • It gives the employee tax advantages & the investments are not taxed until the individual’s withdrawal during retirement.
  • You have the flexibility to contribute a specific amount of money in the fund according to your goals.
  • You can select from various investment options available to secure your money.
  • Your employer would also contribute a portion of the income in your fund, which maximises the profitability in return.
  • You can also choose both Traditional 491(k) & Roth 401(k) methods for greater tax advantages.


Some specific disadvantages may be associated with the retirement savings plan.

  • The plan does not let you contribute beyond a specific amount or criteria.
  • If you withdraw money before maturity, a reasonable penalty before age 59 will be deducted from your overall investments.
  • In 2021, the maximum employee contribution amounted to $19,500 with an additional catch-up of $6,500, which may affect the maximizing profits.
  • Until acquiring the specific age, you are required to start taking distributions or RMDs other than keeping money static.


Overall, the retirement savings plan is a profitable plan for retirements of the employees. However, be careful while choosing the investment options and look at the deductions that will be made from the amount you get. You might get disadvantages if you are not informed about the laws & rules that will be applicable to you. Thus, consider following the information of your employer or investment strategist before making any plan.