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What is a "qualified retirement plan"?

SOLVEDby TurboTax2740Updated January 07, 2022

A qualified retirement plan is an employer's plan to benefit employees that meets specific Internal Revenue Code requirements. These plans may qualify for special tax benefits, such as tax deferral for company contributions. Your contributions may also qualify for tax deferral.

Qualified retirement plans can include:

  • A qualified employee plan such as a section 401(k) plan, including single participant or "solo" plan for sole proprietors
  • A qualified employee 403(a) annuity plan
  • A 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plan for employees of public schools or tax-exempt organizations
  • An individual retirement account under section 408(a) or an individual retirement annuity under section 408(b) (known as an IRA)

To determine whether your plan is a qualified plan (most but not all plans are), check with your employer or the plan administrator.

Tip: You can contribute to your retirement account (Traditional and Roth IRAs) for last year, up until April 18 (no extensions), even if you file earlier. For business retirement plans (SEP-IRA, SIMPLE IRAs, and Solo 401(K)), contributions must be made by the return due date (including extensions).

Also, if you can contribute more to your retirement it could save you money in federal and state income taxes. See example below.

Tax bracketAmount contributedPotential tax savings

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