Will you receive a pension payment when you retire? If so, you’re one of a fortunate few. Defined Benefit Pensions are quickly disappearing from employer benefit menus. In 1998, 58 percent of Fortune 500 companies offered defined benefit pensions, also known as “pensions”. By 2015 that figure was down to 20 percent.1
Many employers have eliminated their defined benefit plan in favor of defined contribution plans, such as the 401(k). In a pension, the employer funds the plan and is responsible for providing plan participants with retirement benefits. In a 401(k) and similar defined contribution plans, the employer may make some contributions, but the funding responsibility largely lies with the employee.
Pensions are helpful in retirement because they provide a guaranteed, predictable source of lifetime income. Even if you haven’t put much money away for retirement, you can still count on your reliable pension income after you leave the working world.
According to a recent study, Americans hold nearly $2.5 trillion in individual retirement accounts (IRAs), making the IRA one of the most commonly used retirement savings vehicles. Those nearing retirement, between the ages of 60 and 64, have an average of $165,139 in their IRA.1 If you’re like most Americans, your IRA will be a significant income source in retirement.
IRAs are popular vehicles largely because of their favorable tax treatment. In traditional IRAs and other types, such as the SEP and SIMPLE, you can deduct your contributions. All IRAs also offer tax-deferred growth. That means you don’t pay taxes on your gains as long as the funds stay inside the account.