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Definition of 'Individual Retirement Account - IRA'

An investing tool used by individuals to earn and earmark funds for retirement savings. There are several types of IRAs: Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs and SEP IRAs.

Traditional and Roth IRAs are established by individual taxpayers, who are allowed to contribute 100% of compensation (self-employment income for sole proprietors and partners) up to a set maximum dollar amount. Contributions to the Traditional IRA may be tax deductible depending on the taxpayer's income, tax filing status and coverage by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Roth IRA contributions are not tax-deductible.

SEPs and SIMPLEs are retirement plans established by employers. Individual participant contributions are made to SEP IRAs and SIMPLE IRAs.


Definition of 'Simplified Employee Pension - SEP (Simplified Employee Pension IRA)'

A retirement plan that an employer or self-employed individuals can establish. The employer is allowed a tax deduction for contributions made to the SEP plan and makes contributions to each eligible employee's SEP IRA on a discretionary basis

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sep.asp#ixzz1tqSTJHgj

Definition of 'Roth IRA'

An individual retirement plan that bears many similarities to the traditional IRA, but contributions are not tax deductible and qualified distributions are tax free. Similar to other retirement plan accounts, non-qualified distributions from a Roth IRA may be subject to a penalty upon withdrawal.

Investopedia explains 'Roth IRA'

A qualified distribution is one that is taken at least five years after the taxpayer establishes his or her first Roth IRA and when he or she is age 59.5, disabled, using the withdrawal to purchase a first home (limit $10,000), or deceased (in which case the beneficiary collects). Since qualified distributions from a Roth IRA are always tax free, some argue that a Roth IRA may be more advantageous than a Traditional IRA.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/rothira.asp#ixzz1tqSg9PEM