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  • Archive for the ‘Spare Change’ Category

    Spare Change: 401(k) News

    Monday, December 1st, 2008

    In this edition of spare change, we (quickly) explore what’s happening in the wild world of 401(k)s. Have some spare change of your own? Share your 401(k) headlines in the comments!

    • The Employees Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is offering regular updates of 401(k) balance estimates as the markets change based on information from their database, which is widely recognized as the most comprehensive database on 401(k) plan participants. To find out more, click here.
    • Interested in 401(k) fee disclosure regulations? Check out this webinar next week, which features Mass Mutual as well as various financial firms.
    • This year, 2009, you will have the opportunity to save more for retirement in your tax-sheltered account than you did last year. You and your employer may contribute more to your qualified retirement plan because an increase in the cost of living index triggered an “adjustment” in the limits. The 2009 Plan limits are listed below:

    New Plan Limits for 2009

    This year 2009

    Last year 2008

    457(b) deferral [457(e)(15)]



    401(k) & 403(b) Elective Deferral [402(g)(1)]



    Age 50+ catch-up Contributions



    Spare Change: Quick Info from WISER

    Thursday, August 7th, 2008

    Today’s Spare Change:

    • Definition of the Day: Roth IRA
    • A Money Myth Worth Disproving
    • What is a Roth IRA?
    • The Roth IRA is different from the traditional IRA in two ways: It provides tax benefits when you take the money out at retirement rather than when you invest it and it has higher income limits.With Roth IRAs, you cannot deduct the amount of your contribution on your tax return. However, you will not pay taxes when you withdraw your funds. There are no income limits if you are not covered by a pension plan at work. You can withdraw contributions and earnings at age 59½ with no federal tax or penalty, provided you opened your account at least 5 years prior. If you are less than 59½, you can make tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals 5 years after opening your account for certain medical expenses, higher education expenses or to buy your first home

    • Money Myth: The majority of women are now part of the paid labor force so they will be better off in retirement than current women retirees.
    • Fact:Elderly women are twice as likely to live in poverty as men and experts do not predict much change in the future because:women earn less money than men and have less to save; caregiving responsibilities make women more likely to leave jobs or work part-time and forfeit pension benefits as a result, and women are more likely to work in occupational sectors, such as the service industry, where pension benefits are less common.

    To overcome these challenges, women need to: make a retirement savings plan early in life and stick to it; stay at jobs long enough to earn retirement benefits; and seek out jobs with better benefits when possible.


    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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