Happy Birthday 403(b)!

Submitted by Jon Freeman

This year the 403(b) is celebrating its 60th birthday! The 403(b) has been around for a very long time. When was the 403(b) established? The 403(b) was established in 1958 by the federal government to encourage employees in certain government and tax-exempt organizations to establish retirement savings programs. There are contribution limits and other rules for an individual’s eligibility to contribute to this type of plan, and there is usually a choice of investment options available for the employee to pick from when enrolled in the plan. Employees save for retirement by contributing to individual accounts in the plan. Employers can also contribute to employees’ accounts. Just as with a 401(k) plan, a 403(b) plan lets employees defer some of their salary into individual accounts. The deferred salary is generally not subject to federal or state income tax until it’s distributed (typically during retirement). However, a 403(b) plan may also offer designated Roth accounts. Salary contributed to a Roth account is taxed currently, but is tax-free (including earnings) when distributed.

To learn if your employer offers this type of retirement plan, or some other retirement plan, and find out if you are eligible to participate in it, contact your employer’s human resources department.

To learn more about finance and managing your money feel free to take a look at the GCPL Personal Finance Guide.