Any workplace plan will be included under the IRS as a "qualified plan"--i.e. qualified workplace retirement plan. An IRA is a private or "individual" retirement "arrangement" that you make on your own with a bank or broker. Even though both a Roth 401k and a Roth IRA have the same basic idea -- contribute after tax and don't pay tax when you retire, there are some important differences.
Some of the basic differences are,
|Only contribute via payroll deductions
Contribute your own money
|Higher contribution limits
|Lower contribution limit, contributions may be disallowed based on your income
|Can't withdraw until you separate from service with the employer (unless you have a hardship and your employer allows hardship withdrawals)
|Can withdraw at any time (but may be subject to tax)
|Some employers may allow you to borrow from your 401k balance, with repayment via mandatory payroll deduction
|You can't borrow from an IRA
|10% penalty for early withdrawal before age 59-1/2, unless you separate from service with the sponsoring employer at age 55 or above
|10% penalty for early withdrawal before age 59-1/2
|Certain exceptions to the 10% penalty that are allowed for IRAs are not allowed for qualified plans, see https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-tax-on-early-distri...
|Some exceptions to the 10% penalty for early withdrawal under age 59-1/2 are allowed
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