Looking for Regional Information?

All you wanted to know about 401(k) Plans

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Social Issues

It comes to all very officially. A date of joining to a company and retiring from it at a specific age of your life! Life starts anew in this phase with fresh set parameters and responsibilities after retirement. It is the dawn of reducing certain burdens and at the same time facing something missing in life. Most of the time you lack your engagement and feel depressed about how every thing will run smoothly without a steady income. So before you retire why dont you check for some best schemes and plans that will keep you miles away from such unnecessary tensions?

Begin a juvenile life when you actually retire from the age old rules of office decorum. You must have heard of 401(k) Plans? Not clear what exactly it is and how well it works? Heres a brief portfolio of the features of the plan along with its functions.

What is the working procedure of a 401(k) Plan?

In a very simple language a 401(k) plan is a retirement plan in offer to an employee from his/her employer. The company where you work if offers you this plan, it actually propose you with a set list of funds for investment. It is at your discretion to choose the specific fund you would like to invest in and also place it before your company in what percentage you will carry on with the investment.

Once this amount has been decided by you, it will directly get deducted from your employee pay check but without being taxed for it at that moment. There is a specific limit up to which the employee can contribute his share in the fund of 401(k) plan. Sometimes to make the best output of the fund raised, the employers match a certain percentage along with the employees contributions. The combination of the two amounts is then invested in the exact fund plan you have opted for. 

When do you go for a 401(k) Plan?

Its not that you start generating this fund just before retirement. You should actually plan for it years before so that at the mouth of your retirement you are credited with the benefits. This is precisely why this 401(k) plan has been chalked out.

You raise this fund until your age is fixed right in between 59 and 60. When you are 59 and , the fruit begins to ripe. That means you have reached that stage when you can harvest whatever you have grown. This is the specified age that you can withdraw the raised amount of money through the fund but before clearing the income tax on the amount withdrawn. Now you have an urgency of breaking the fund before reaching the exact age. Then you are charged fine apart from the taxes which you must pay.

How does defined benefit differ from defined contribution in a 401(k)?

A defined benefit plan works upon the employers definite contribution to the retiree, so that the person is well aware of the amount of money he/she will receive during retirement. This scheme takes into account the employees service amount and is fixed according to the final salary of the employee.

In retirement contribution plan, the contribution on the employers part is kept transparent but the employee is not aware of how much amount he/she will receive as the retirement income per month which is very clear in the above case. Even you can go for a bulk amount in the defined benefit plan when you retire. In either case you can keep yourself steady with no chances of being deceived by your company.

What are ways to make the best benefits out of it?

If you have another 10 years to retire then you can allocate your bonds at 40%, large capital stocks at 30% and cash at 10%. But you have a long way to go, say another 30 to 35 years, just dont worry. This is the best time you can raise money and plan for your securities at your retirement stage. So go for a 50% large capital stock and devote only 15% on bonds. Also allocate around 10% at international stocks.

The master plan is lying in front of you. Select the best option as per your convenience.