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What Is a SIMPLE 401(k) Plan & How Do You Utilize It?

The Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees 401(k), or SIMPLE 401(k), is a simplified version of a traditional 401(k). SIMPLE plans were created so that small businesses could have a cost-efficient way to offer a retirement account to their employees.

Unlike many other workplace retirement plans, SIMPLE 401(k) plans do not require annual nondiscrimination tests to ensure that a plan is in line with IRS rules. This type of testing can be prohibitively expensive for small employers, preventing them from using other types of 401(k)s.

A SIMPLE 401(k) retirement plan is available to businesses with 100 or fewer employees including sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. For small business owners or self-employed individuals, understanding how SIMPLE plans work can help decide whether it makes sense to set one up.

For employees whose employer already offers a SIMPLE 401(k), getting to know the ins and outs of the plan can help to understand the role they play in saving for retirement.

How Does a SIMPLE 401(k) Work?

A SIMPLE 401(k) functions much like a regular 401(k). Employees contribute pre-tax money directly from their paycheck and invest that money in a handful of options offered by the plan administrator.

In 2024, the SIMPLE 401(k) limits are as follows: The maximum for employee elective deferrals is $16,000 ($15,500 in 2023); employees 50 and older could make an additional “catch-up” contribution of $3,500 to boost their savings as they neared retirement.

One significant difference between traditional 401(k) plans and SIMPLE 401(k) plans is that while employer contributions are optional with a 401(k) plan, under a SIMPLE 401(k) plan they are mandatory and clearly defined. Employers must make either a matching contribution of up to 3% of each employee’s pay or make a nonelective contribution (independent of any employee contributions) of 2% of each eligible employee’s pay. The contribution must be the same for all plan participants: For example, an employer couldn’t offer himself a 3% match while offering his employees a 2% nonelective contribution.

There are other limits on how much an employer can contribute. The maximum compensation that could be used to figure out employer contributions and benefits is $345,000 for 2024 ($330,000 for 2023). So if an employer offered a 2% nonelective contribution and an employee made $355,000 a year, the maximum contribution the employer could make would be 2% of $345,000, or $6,900.

As with a regular 401(k), contributions to a SIMPLE plan grow tax-deferred — meaning an employee contributes pre-tax dollars to their plan, and doesn’t pay income tax on that money until they withdraw funds upon retirement. Typically, the tax-deferred growth means that there is more money subject to compounding interest, the returns investments earn on their returns.

Withdrawals made during retirement are subject to income tax.

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Who Is Eligible for a SIMPLE 401(k)?

To be eligible for a SIMPLE 401(k), employers must have 100 or fewer employees. They cannot already offer these employees another retirement plan, and must offer the plan to all employees 21 years and older.

Employers must also file Form 5500 every year if they establish a plan.

For employees to be eligible, they must have received at least $5,000 in compensation from their employer in the previous calendar year. Employers cannot require that employees complete more than one year of service to qualify for the SIMPLE plan.

A SIMPLE IRA is also one of a number of retirement options for the self-employed.

What Are the Pros of a SIMPLE 401(k) Plan?

SIMPLE 401(k)s offer a number of benefits that make them attractive to employers and employees.

•   Simplified rules: While large companies may have the money and staff to devote to nondiscrimination testing, smaller companies may not have the same resources. SIMPLE 401(k)s do not have these compliance rules, making them more accessible for small employers. What’s more, the straightforward benefit formula is easy for employers to administer.

•   “Free money”: Employees are guaranteed employer contributions to their retirement account, whether via 3% matching contributions or 2% nonelective contributions.

•   Fully-vested contributions: All contributions — those made by employees and their employers — are fully vested immediately. Employees who qualify for distributions can take money out whenever they need it. While this can be good news for employees, for employers it removes the option to incentivize workers to stay in their job longer by having their contributions vest several years into their tenure with the company.

•   Loans and hardship withdrawals: While withdrawals made before age 59 ½ are subject to tax and a possible 10% early withdrawal penalty, employees can take out loans against their SIMPLE 401(k) just as they can with a traditional 401(k). These options add flexibility for individuals who need money in an emergency. It’s important to note that 401(k) loans come with strict rules for paying them back. Failing to follow these rules may result in penalties.

What Are the Cons of a SIMPLE 401(k) Plan?

While there are plenty of positives that come from offering or contributing to a SIMPLE 401(k), there are also some important downsides.

•   Plan limitations: Employers cannot offer employees covered by a SIMPLE 401(k) another retirement plan.

•   Lower contribution limits: For 2024, a traditional 401(k) plan allows for $23,000 annual maximum 401(k) contributions from employees, with an additional $7,500 catch-up contribution for those 50 and older. These contribution limits are considerably higher than SIMPLE plan limits, which in 2024 are $16,000 with an additional “catch-up” contribution of $3,500 for employees over age 50. This means an employee could potentially contribute an additional $7,000 in elective deferrals and $4,000 in catch-up contributions with a traditional 401(k) rather than a SIMPLE 401(k).

•   Limited size: SIMPLE Plans are only available to employers with fewer than 100 employees. That means if a business grows beyond that point, they have a two-year grace period to switch from their SIMPLE plan to another option.

SIMPLE 401(k) vs SIMPLE IRA

Generally speaking, when comparing SIMPLE IRAs and SIMPLE 401(k)s, the rules are similar:

•   They’re only available to businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

•   Employers must either offer a 3% matching contribution or a 2% nonelective contribution.

•   Employers can only make contributions on up to $345,000 in employee compensation in 2024.

•   Employee contribution limits to SIMPLE IRAs are the same as their 401(k) counterparts.

•   Employer and employee contributions are fully vested immediately.

There are a few differences worth mentioning:

•   Whereas all employer contributions are subject to the cap for SIMPLE 401(k)s, only nonelective contributions are subject to the $345,000 compensation cap for SIMPLE IRAs. (This makes it possible that employees making more than $345,000 annually may receive higher matching contributions from a SIMPLE IRA than they would from a SIMPLE 401(k).)

•   If employers make matching contributions of 3%, they may elect to limit their contribution to no less than 1% for two out of every five years.

•   SIMPLE IRAs do not allow employees to take out loans from their account for any reason.

•   There are no minimum age requirements for SIMPLE IRA contributions.

The Takeaway

SIMPLE 401(k) plans can be especially attractive for self-employed individuals or small business owners, as they have many of the same benefits of a traditional 401(k) plan — including tax-deferred contributions and loan options — but without the administrative compliance costs that come with a regular 401(k) plan.

SIMPLE 401(k) plans can be especially attractive for self-employed individuals or small business owners.

Some of the requirements and rules associated with a SIMPLE 401(k) plan might be unattractive to some employers, however, including the fact that the IRS prohibits employers from offering other types of retirement plans to employees who are covered by a SIMPLE 401(k).

There are many answers to the question of which retirement savings plan is right for you or your business. Beyond traditional 401(k) and SIMPLE (401)k plans, there are traditional, Roth, SIMPLE and SEP IRAs, among other options.

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Easily manage your retirement savings with a SoFi IRA.

FAQ

Who is a SIMPLE IRA best for?

A SIMPLE IRA may be a good option for small business owners with no more than 100 employees who want to offer a retirement savings plan to their employees. These plans tend to be fairly simple to set up and administer compared to some other plans. A SIMPLE IRA allows employers to contribute to their own and their employees’ retirement savings.

What is the 2 year rule for SIMPLE IRAs?

The 2-year rule says that during the first two years an individual participates in a SIMPLE IRA plan, they can only transfer money to another SIMPLE IRA. After the two years are up, they can make tax-free rollovers to other non-Roth IRAs or to another employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Does money grow in a SIMPLE IRA?

Money may grow tax-deferred in a SIMPLE IRA until distributions are taken from the plan in retirement. Withdrawals can be made without penalty at age 59 ½.

What happens to my SIMPLE IRA if I quit my job?

If you have participated in the SIMPLE IRA plan for at least two years, you can make a tax-free rollover to another non-Roth IRA or to a new employer’s workplace retirement plan. However, if you’ve participated in the plan for less than two years, you can only transfer your money to another SIMPLE IRA.


SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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Everything You Need to Know About Lifestyle Funds and Lifestyle Investing

Everything You Need to Know About Lifestyle Funds and Lifestyle Investing

Lifestyle funds are investment funds that base their asset allocation on someone’s age, risk tolerance, and investing goals. Individuals who want to build wealth over the long term in a relatively hands-off way might consider lifestyle investings.

There are different types of lifestyle funds investors may choose from, based on their appetite for risk, the level of risk needed to achieve their goals, and their investing time horizon. Lifestyle assets often also appear inside different types of retirement accounts, including employer-sponsored retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Whether becoming a lifestyle investor makes sense for you can depend on what you hope to achieve with your portfolio, how much risk you’re comfortable taking, and your overall time horizon for investing.

What are Lifestyle Funds?

A lifestyle fund or lifestyle investment holds a mix of investments that reflect an investor’s goals and risk tolerance. These investment funds tailor their investment mix to a specific investor’s needs and age to provide a simplified solution for reaching their goals.

Lifestyle funds may invest in both equities (i.e. stocks) and fixed-income securities, such as bonds and notes. These funds may require fewer decisions by the asset owner, since they adjust automatically through changing lifestyle needs until you reach retirement. With lifestyle assets, as with other types of funds, it’s important to consider the balance between risk and reward.

Lifestyle funds that carry a higher degree of risk may offer higher returns to investors, while those that are more conservative in terms of risk may yield lower returns.


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How Do Lifestyle Funds Work?

Typically purchased through a retirement account or a brokerage account, lifestyle funds work by creating a diversified portfolio to meet an investor where they are, while also taking into account where they’d like to be 10, 20 or 30 years from now.

An investor can choose from an initial lifestyle fund allocation, then adjust the risk level up or down based on their preferences. A fund manager reviews the asset allocation for the fund and rebalances periodically to help an investor stay on track with their goals.

The level of risk an investor takes may correlate to the average age of retirement, which for most people is around 65. So someone who’s 25 years old now has 40 years to invest for the future, meaning they can afford to take more risk to achieve their goals. As they get older, their tolerance for risk may decrease which could mean moving away from stocks and toward fixed-income investments.

Unlike target-date funds, the level of risk in lifestyle funds doesn’t change significantly over time. So if you were to choose an aggressive lifestyle fund at 25, the asset allocation of that fund would more or less be the same at age 65. That’s important to understand for choosing the lifestyle fund that’s appropriate for your risk tolerance and goals.

Recommended: Explaining Asset Allocation by Age

Two Stages of Lifestyle Funds

Lifestyle investing can work in different stages, depending on where you are in your investing journey. Lifestyle funds accommodate these different stages by adjusting their asset allocation.

This is something the fund manager can do to ensure that you’re working toward your goals without overexposing yourself to risk along the way. The two stages of lifestyle funds are the growth stage and the retirement target date stage.

1. Growth Stage

The growth stage represents the period in which a lifestyle investor is actively saving and investing. During the growth stage, the emphasis is on diversifying investments to achieve the appropriate balance between risk and reward. This phase represents the bulk of working years for most people as they move from starting their careers to reaching their peak earnings.

In the growth stage, lifestyle funds hold an asset allocation that reflects the investor’s goals and appetite for risk. Again, whether this is more conservative, aggressive or somewhere in-between depends on the individual investor. At this time, the investor is typically concerned with funding retirement accounts, rather than withdrawing from them.

2. Retirement Target Date

The retirement target date stage marks the beginning of the countdown to retirement for an investor. During this stage, the focus shifts to preparing the investor to begin drawing an income from their portfolio, rather than making new contributions or investments.

At this point, a lifestyle investor may have to decide whether they want to maintain their existing asset allocation, shift some or all of their assets into other investments (such as an annuity), or begin drawing them down in cash. For example, an investor in their mid-50s may decide to move from an aggressive lifestyle fund to a moderate or conservative lifestyle fund, depending on their needs, anticipated retirement date, and how much risk they’re comfortable taking.

Different Types of Lifestyle Funds

Lifestyle funds aren’t all alike and there are different options investors may choose from. There are different ways lifestyle funds can be structured, including:

•   Income-focused funds. These lifestyle funds aim to produce income for investors, though capital appreciation may be a secondary goal. Fixed-income securities typically make up the bulk of lifestyle income funds, though they may still include some equity holdings.

•   Growth-focused funds. Lifestyle growth funds are the opposite of lifestyle income funds. These funds aim to provide investors with long-term capital appreciation and place less emphasis on current income.

•   Conservative asset allocation funds. Conservative lifestyle funds may have a long-term goal of achieving a set total return through both capital appreciation and current income. These funds tend to carry lower levels of risk than other lifestyle funds.

•   Moderate asset allocation funds. Moderate lifestyle funds often take a middle ground approach in terms of risk and reward. These funds may use a “fund of funds” strategy, which primarily involves investing other mutual funds.

•   Aggressive asset allocation funds. Aggressive lifestyle funds may also use a “fund of funds” approach, though with a slightly different focus. These funds take on more risk, though rewards may be greater as they seek long-term capital appreciation.

Lifestyle Investment Risks

Investing for retirement with lifestyle assets has some risks, so it’s important to make sure that the fund you choose matches your risk tolerance. Risk tolerance refers to the amount of risk an investor is comfortable taking in their portfolio. Risk capacity is the amount of risk needed to achieve investment goals.

Typically, younger investors can afford to take more risk in the early years of their investment career as they have more time to recover from market declines. But if that investor has a low risk tolerance, they may still choose to stick with more conservative investments. If their risk tolerance doesn’t match up with the amount of risk they need to take to achieve their investment goals, they could fall far short of them.

When considering lifestyle funds, it’s important to consider your risk mix and risk level. While lifestyle funds can simplify investing in that you don’t necessarily need to make day-to-day trading decisions, it’s still important to consider how your risk tolerance and risk capacity may evolve over time.

As you move from the growth stage to the retirement target date stage, for instance, you may need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle fund choices in order to keep pace with your desired goals.


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Advantages of Lifestyle Funds

In addition to their risks, lifestyle funds offer numerous advantages to investors, starting with simplicity. When you invest in a lifestyle fund, you know more or less what to expect in terms of asset allocation, based on the risk tolerance that you specify. These funds don’t require you to be an active investor in order to realize returns.

Some funds also automatically rebalance on behalf of investors, so there’s very little you need to do, other than be mindful of how the fund’s risk mix reflects your risk tolerance at any given time.

A lifestyle fund can offer broad diversification, allowing you to gain exposure to a variety of assets without having to purchase individual stocks, bonds or other securities.

Compared to other types of mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), lifestyle funds may carry lower expense ratios. That can allow you to retain more of your investment returns over time.

Finally, lifestyle funds encourage investors to stay invested through market ups and downs. That can help you to even out losses through dollar-cost averaging.

Lifestyle Funds vs Target Date Funds

If you have a 401(k), then you’re likely familiar with target date funds as they’re commonly offered in workplace retirement plans. A target date fund, or lifecycle fund, is a mutual fund that adjusts its asset allocation automatically, based on the investor’s target retirement date. These funds are distinguishable from lifestyle funds because they typically have a year in their name.

So a Target Date 2050 fund, for example, would attract investors who plan to retire in the year 2050. Target date funds also take a diversified approach to investing, with asset allocations that include both stocks and fixed-income securities.

The difference between target date funds and lifestyle funds is that target date funds follow a specific glide path. As the investor gets closer to their target retirement date, the fund’s asset allocation adjusts to become more conservative. Lifestyle funds don’t do that; instead, the asset allocation remains the same.

Recommended: Target-date Funds vs. Index Funds: Key Differences

The Takeaway

Whether you choose to invest with lifestyle funds, target date funds, or something else, the most important thing is to get started saving for retirement. The longer your time horizon until retirement, the more time your money has to grow through the power of compounding interest.

If you feel like incorporating lifestyle funds into your investing strategy may help you reach your financial goals, be sure to take the pros and cons into consideration. It may also be helpful to consult with a financial professional for guidance.

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FAQ

What is a lifestyle pension fund?

A pension fund is a type of defined benefit plan, in which employees receive retirement benefits based on their earnings and years of service. A lifestyle pension fund is a pension fund that allocates assets using a lifestyle strategy in order to meet an investor’s goals and needs.

What is a lifestyle strategy?

In investing, a lifestyle strategy is an approach that chooses investments that can help an investor to reach specific milestones or goals while keeping their age and risk tolerance in mind. With lifestyle funds, the asset allocation doesn’t change substantially over time.

What is a lifestyle profile?

A lifestyle profile is a tool that investors use to help them select the most appropriate lifestyle funds based on their age, risk tolerance goals.


Photo credit: iStock/GaudiLab

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Claw Promotion: Customer must fund their Active Invest account with at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Probability of customer receiving $1,000 is 0.028%. See full terms and conditions.

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SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limits for Employers & Employees

SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limits for Employers & Employees

A SIMPLE IRA, or Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees, is a way for self-employed individuals and small business employers to set up a retirement plan.

It’s one of a number of tax-advantaged retirement plans that may be available to those who are self-employed, along with solo 401(k)s, and traditional IRAs. These plans share a number of similarities. Like 401(k)s, SIMPLE IRAs are employer-sponsored (if you’re self-employed, you would be the employer in this case), and like other IRAs they give employees some flexibility in choosing their investments.

SIMPLE IRA contribution limits are one of the main differences between accounts: meaning, how much individuals can contribute themselves, and whether there’s an employer contribution component as well.

Here’s a look at the rules for SIMPLE IRAs.

SIMPLE IRA Basics

SIMPLE IRAs are a type of employer-sponsored retirement account. Employers who want to offer one cannot have another retirement plan in place already, and they must typically have 100 employees or less.

Employers are required to contribute to SIMPLE IRA plans, while employees can elect to do so, as a way to save for retirement.

Employees can usually participate in a SIMPLE IRA if they have made $5,000 in any two calendar years before the current year, or if they expect to receive $5,000 in compensation in the current year.

An employee’s income doesn’t affect SIMPLE IRA contribution limits.


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SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limits, 2023 and 2024

Employee contributions to SIMPLE IRAs are made with pre-tax dollars. They are typically taken directly from an employee’s paycheck, and they can reduce taxable income in the year the contributions are made, often reducing the amount of taxes owed.

Once deposited in the SIMPLE IRA account, contributions can be invested, and those investments can grow tax deferred until it comes time to make withdrawals in retirement. Individuals can start making withdrawals penalty free at age 59 ½. But withdrawals made before then may be subject to a 10% or 25% early withdrawal penalty.

Employee contributions are capped. For 2023, contributions cannot exceed $15,500 for most people. For 2024, it’s $16,000. Employees who are age 50 and over can make additional catch-up contributions of $3,500 for 2023 and 2024, bringing their total contribution limit to $19,000 in 2023 and $19,500 in 2024.

See the chart below for SIMPLE IRA contribution limits for 2023 and 2024.

2023

2024

Annual contribution limit $15,500 $16,000
Catch-up contribution for age 50 and older $3,500 $3,500

Boost your retirement contributions with a 1% match.

SoFi IRAs now get a 1% match on every dollar you deposit, up to the annual contribution limits. Open an account today and get started.


Only offers made via ACH are eligible for the match. ACATs, wires, and rollovers are not included.

Employer vs Employee Contribution Limits

Employers are required to contribute to each one of their employees’ SIMPLE plans each year, and each plan must be treated the same, including an employer’s own.

There are two options available for contributions: Employers may either make matching contributions of up to 3% of employee compensation — or they may make a 2% nonelective contribution for each eligible employee.

If an employer chooses the first option, call it option A, they have to make a dollar-for-dollar match of each employee’s contribution, up to 3% of employee compensation. (If the employer chooses option B, the nonelective contribution, this requirement doesn’t apply.) An employer can offer smaller matches, but they must match at least 1% for no more than two out of every five years.

In option A, if an employee doesn’t make a contribution to their SIMPLE account, the employer does not have to contribute either.

In the second option, option B: Employers can choose to make nonelective contributions of 2% of each individual employee’s compensation. If an employer chooses this option, they must make a contribution whether or not an employee makes one as well.

Contributions are limited. Employers may make a 2% contribution up to $330,000 in employee compensation for 2023, and up to $345,000 in employee compensation for 2024.

(The 3% matching contribution rule for option A is not subject to this same annual compensation limit.)

Whatever contributions employers make to their employees’ plans are tax deductible. And if you’re a sole proprietor you can deduct the employer contributions you make for yourself.

See the chart below for employer contribution limits for 2023 and 2024.

2023

2024

Matching contribution Up to 3% of employee contribution Up to 3% of employee contribution
Nonelective contribution 2% of employee compensation up to $330,000 2% of employee compensation up to $345,000

SIMPLE IRA vs 401(k) Contribution Limits

There are other options for employer-sponsored retirement plans, including the 401(k), which differs from an IRA in some significant ways.

Like SIMPLE IRAs, 401(k) contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, and money in the account grows tax deferred. Withdrawals are taxed at ordinary income tax rates, and individuals can begin making them penalty-free at age 59 ½.

Contribution limits for 401(k)s are much higher than for SIMPLE IRAs. In 2023, individuals could contribute up to $22,500 to their 401(k) plans. Plan participants age 50 and older could make $7,500 in catch-up contributions for a total of $30,000 per year. In 2024, individuals can contribute $23,000 to their 401(k), and those 50 and older can make $7,500 in catch-up contributions for a total of $30,500.

Employers may also choose to contribute to their employees’ 401(k) plans through matching contributions or non-elective contributions. Employees often use matching contributions to incentivize their employees to save, and individuals should try to save enough each year to meet their employer’s matching requirements.

Employers may also make nonelective contributions regardless of whether an employee has made contributions of their own. Total employee and employer contributions could equal up to $66,000 in 2023, or 100% of an employee’s compensation, whichever is less. For those aged 50 and older, that figure jumped to $73,500. In 2024, total employee and employer contributions are $69,000, or $76,500 for those 50 and up.

As a result of these higher contribution limits, 401(k)s can help individuals save quite a bit more than they could with a SIMPLE IRA. See chart below for a side-by-side comparison of 401(k) and SIMPLE IRA contribution limits.

SIMPLE IRA 2023

SIMPLE IRA 2024

401(k) 2023

401(k) 2024

Annual contribution limit $15,500 $16,000 $22,500

$23,000

Catch-up contribution $3,500 $3,500 $7,500

$7,500

Employer Contribution Up to 3% of employee contribution, or 2% of employee compensation up to $330,000 Up to 3% of employee contribution, or 2% of employee compensation up to $345,000 Matching and nonelective contributions up to $66,000

Matching and nonelective contributions up to $69,000.




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SIMPLE IRA vs Traditional IRA Contribution Limits

Individuals who want to save more in tax-deferred retirement accounts than they’re able to in a SIMPLE IRA alone can consider opening an IRA account. Regular IRAs come in two flavors: traditional and Roth IRA.

Traditional IRAs

When considering SIMPLE vs. traditional IRAs, the two actually work similarly. However, contribution limits for traditional accounts are quite a bit lower. For 2023, individuals could contribute $6,500, or $7,500 for those 50 and older. In 2024, individuals can contribute $7,000, or $8,000 for those 50 and older.

That said, when paired with a SIMPLE IRA, individuals could make $22,000 in total contributions in 2023, which is almost as much as with a 401(K). In 2024, they could make $23,000 in total contributions, which is the same as a 401(k).

Roth IRAs

Roth IRAs work a little bit differently.

Contributions to Roths are made with after-tax dollars. Money inside the account grows-tax free and individuals pay no income tax when they make withdrawals after age 59 ½. Early withdrawals may be subject to penalty. Because individuals pay no income tax on withdrawals in retirement, Roth IRAs may be a consideration for those who anticipate being in a higher tax bracket when they retire.

Roth contributions limits are the same as traditional IRAs. Individuals are allowed to have both Roth and traditional accounts at the same time. However, total contributions are cumulative across accounts.

See the chart for a look at SIMPLE IRA vs. traditional and Roth IRA contribution limits.

SIMPLE IRA 2023 SIMPLE IRA 2024 Traditional and Roth IRA 2023 Traditional and Roth IRA 2024
Annual contribution limit $15,500 $16,000 $6,500 $7,000
Catch-up contribution $3,500 $3,500 $1,000 $1,000
Employer Contribution Up to 3% of employee contribution, or 2% of employee compensation up to $330,000 Up to 3% of employee contribution, or 2% of employee compensation up to $345,000 None None

The Takeaway

SIMPLE IRAs are an easy way for employers and employees to save for retirement — especially those who are self-employed (or for companies with under 100 employees). In fact, a SIMPLE IRA gives employers two ways to help employees save for retirement — by a direct matching contribution of up to 3% (assuming the employee is also contributing to their SIMPLE IRA account), or by providing a basic 2% contribution for all employees, regardless of whether the employees themselves are contributing.

While SIMPLE IRAs don’t offer the same high contribution limits that 401(k)s do, individuals who want to save more can compensate by opening a traditional or Roth IRA on their own.

Ready to invest for your retirement? It’s easy to get started when you open a traditional or Roth IRA with SoFi. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Help grow your nest egg with a SoFi IRA.

Photo credit: iStock/FatCamera


Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

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Can You Have Multiple IRAs?

Can You Have Multiple IRAs?

In theory, there’s no limit to how many individual retirement accounts (IRAs) one person can have. A retirement saver could potentially maintain more than one traditional IRA, Roth IRA, rollover IRA, or simplified employee pension (SEP) IRA in order to gain certain tax advantages now, and potentially down the road.

That said, the rules governing these different IRA accounts vary considerably, and combining many IRAs — without running afoul of contribution limits or creating tax issues — can be difficult.

How Many Roth and Traditional IRAs Can You Have?

As mentioned above, you may open any number of individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not limit the number of IRAs you can have and will not penalize you for having multiple IRAs in your name, as long as you follow the rules and contribution limits for each account.

One or more IRAs could work in tandem with a 401(k) workplace retirement plan. For instance, you might put part of each paycheck into a 401(k) plan at work while also maxing out your traditional IRA contributions every year. There might be restrictions, though, about the amount you can deduct.

An individual’s annual contribution limit — for traditional and Roth IRAs combined — is $7,000 for the 2024 tax year and $6,500 for the 2023 tax year. The limit is $7,500 for savers age 50 or older.

Recommended: What is an IRA?

Types of IRA

The two main account types are the traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. Again, your traditional IRA withdrawals are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate in retirement while Roth IRA money can be withdrawn tax-free.

With a traditional IRA, contributions can provide tax deductions when the money is deposited. Qualified distributions are taxed as ordinary income in retirement. Funds distributed before the account holder reaches age 59 ½ are usually subject to an added 10% tax.

Roth IRA contributions do not qualify for a deduction when deposited. However, when the account holder reaches age 59 ½, the money may be withdrawn tax-free. As with traditional IRAs, you can have multiple Roth IRAs.

There is a third type of IRA, the SEP IRA. These IRAs have higher contribution limits: up to $69,000 for tax year 2024 and $66,000 for tax year 2023, or 25% of compensation, whichever is less. But because these are employer-funded plans, they follow a different set of rules.

If you are self-employed and contributing to a SEP IRA on your own behalf, or if you work for a company with a SEP plan, you may or may not have the option of making traditional IRA contributions — but you could likely contribute to a Roth in addition to the SEP.

You may want to consult with a professional so you don’t over-contribute — or contribute less than you could have — or miss out on any of the potential tax benefits.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple IRAs

Whether it makes sense for you to have multiple IRAs can depend on many factors, including your investment goals, financial situation, marital status, and career plans.

Advantages

Here are some of the chief advantages of maintaining more than one IRA:

•   Tax management. Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are taxed differently, as mentioned above. Also, traditional IRAs are subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs), which can increase your taxable income in retirement, while Roth IRAs are not. Having money in both types of IRA could make your retirement investing more tax-efficient.

•   Diversification. Diversification can help manage investment risk. Holding money in multiple IRAs, each with a different investment strategy, could help you create a diversified portfolio.

   Diversification may also benefit you from a tax perspective if you keep less tax-efficient investments in a traditional IRA and more tax-efficient ones in a Roth IRA.

•   Access. Traditional IRAs do not permit early withdrawals before age 59 ½ without triggering a tax penalty. You can, however, withdraw your original contributions from a Roth IRA at any time without owing income tax or penalties on those distributions. Having one IRA of each type could make it less expensive for you to withdraw money early if needed. This is possible whether investing online or not.

•   Avoiding RMDs. Traditional IRAs are subject to RMD rules, which dictate that you must begin taking minimum IRA distributions at age 72. If you don’t, the IRS can levy a steep tax penalty. Roth IRAs aren’t subject to RMD rules, so they could help you hang on to more assets as you age.

Disadvantages

Opening and funding multiple IRAs isn’t always an optimal strategy. Here are some disadvantages that may make you reconsider having several IRAs:

•   Contribution limits. The IRS caps the amount you can contribute in a given year. For 2024, your total contributions to all your IRAs cannot exceed $7,000 (or $8,000 if you’re 50 or older). For 2023, your total contributions to all your IRAs cannot exceed $6,500 (or $7,500 if you’re 50 or older). So having multiple IRAs doesn’t give you an edge in saving up for retirement.

•   Overweighting. When a significant share of your asset allocation is dedicated to a single stock, security, or sector, your portfolio is overweight. This overexposure can heighten your risk profile, such that a downturn in that investment could drag down your entire portfolio. Having multiple IRAs may put you at risk of being overweight if you’re not careful about reviewing the holdings in each account.

•   Fees. Brokerages often charge various fees to maintain IRAs. Plus, within each IRA, you may have to pay additional fees for specific investments. For example, a mutual fund has an annual ownership cost signified by its expense ratio. If you’re not paying attention to each IRA’s fees, it’s possible that you could overpay and shrink your investment returns.

•   Organization. Having multiple IRAs could present an organizational burden in the form of additional paperwork or, if you manage your IRAs online, logging in to multiple brokerages or robo-advisor platforms. You may also worry about increased risk for cybercrime.

Reasons You Might Want More Than One IRA

Evaluating your investment goals can help you decide if having more than one IRA makes sense for you. But you may need extra accounts if you’re:

•   Rolling over a 401(k). When separating from your employer, you could leave your 401(k) money where it is or roll it into a traditional IRA instead. If you open a rollover IRA and already have a Roth account too, you may end up with multiple IRAs.

•   Planning a backdoor Roth. Roth IRAs offer tax-free distributions but there’s a catch: To fund one, you have to meet eligibility requirements pertaining to your income and filing status. People who are over the income limit sometimes work around it by setting up a traditional IRA and later transferring some of that money to a Roth IRA. Taxes are levied on the transferred amount. This arrangement is known as a Roth conversion or backdoor Roth.

•   Married and the sole income-earner. The IRS allows married couples who file a joint tax return to each contribute to IRAs, even when one spouse does not have taxable compensation. So if you’re the breadwinner in your relationship, you could set up an IRA for yourself and open a spousal IRA to make contributions on behalf of your spouse.

•   Self-employed or plan to be. People who are self-employed can use traditional, Roth, or SEP IRAs to save for retirement. You might end up with multiple IRAs if you were an employee who had a traditional or Roth IRA, then later went out on your own as an entrepreneur. You could then open a SEP IRA, which allows for tax-deductible contributions and a higher annual contribution limit ($69,000 in 2024, and $66,000 in 2023).

Reasons You Might Want Your IRAs With Different Companies

Whether you’re planning to open your first IRA or your fifth, it’s important to choose the right place to keep your retirement savings. You can open an IRA with a traditional broker, an online brokerage, or sometimes at your bank or credit union.

So why would you want to have your IRAs in different places? Two big reasons for that center on investment options and insurance.

Setting up IRAs at different brokerages could offer you greater exposure to a wider variety of investments. Every brokerage has its own policies on IRA assets. One brokerage might lean almost exclusively toward investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or index funds, for example, while another might allow you to purchase individual stocks or bonds through your IRA.

You can also benefit from increased insurance coverage. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) insures Roth IRAs and other eligible investment accounts up to $500,000 per person. Under those rules, you could have a traditional IRA at one brokerage and a Roth IRA at another and they’d both be covered up to $500,000.

Note: SIPC coverage only protects you against the possibility of your brokerage failing, not against any financial losses associated with changes in the value of your investments.

How to Transfer an IRA to Another Investment Company

It’s fairly straightforward to move an IRA from one brokerage to another. First you need to set up an IRA at the new brokerage. Then you’d contact your current brokerage to initiate the transfer of some or all of your IRA funds.

You can request a trustee-to-trustee transfer, which allows your current IRA company to move the money to the new IRA on your behalf. No taxes are withheld on the transfer amount and you also avoid the risk of triggering a tax penalty.

The IRS also allows 60-day rollovers, in which you get a distribution from your existing IRA then redeposit it into your new retirement account. Taxes are withheld, so you’ll have to make that amount up when you deposit the money to your new IRA. If you fail to complete the rollover within 60 days, the IRS treats the deal as a taxable distribution.

The Takeaway

Investing in multiple IRAs is perfectly legal and, in theory, you can have an unlimited number of them. The IRS’s annual limits on contributions apply across all your accounts, however. Traditional and Roth IRAs have different tax rules and can sometimes be useful to offset each other. SEP IRAs offer the potential to save more, thanks to their higher contribution limits. Wage earners can often contribute to separate accounts for their non-working spouses, potentially doubling the amount of allowable contributions.

If you have yet to set up an IRA, getting started is easier than you might think. With SoFi Invest, you can open a traditional or Roth IRA. And you may want to consider doing a rollover IRA, where you roll over old 401(k) funds so that you can better manage all your retirement money.

SoFi makes the rollover process seamless and simple, so you don’t have to worry about transferring funds yourself, or potentially incurring a penalty. There are no rollover fees, and you can complete your 401(k) rollover without a lot of time or hassle.

Help grow your nest egg with a SoFi IRA.

FAQ

Does it make sense to have multiple IRAs?

Having more than one IRA could make sense for some people, depending on their investment strategies. When maintaining multiple IRAs, the most important thing to keep in mind are the limits on annual contributions. It’s also helpful to weigh the investment options offered and the fees you might pay to own multiple IRAs.

Can I have both a traditional and a Roth IRA?

Yes, you can have both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. However, your total contribution to all your IRAs cannot exceed the annual limits allowed by the IRS.

How many Roth IRAs can I have?

A person can have any number of Roth IRAs. The IRS does, however, set guidelines on who can contribute to a Roth IRA and the maximum amount you can contribute each year.


Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

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Custodial Roth IRA: How to Open a Roth IRA For Kids

A Roth IRA can be a retirement savings tool for children as well as adults. Funded with after-tax dollars, a Roth IRA grows tax-free, so account holders won’t need to pay taxes when they withdraw money in retirement as long as the account has been open for at least five years. Plus, the money in a Roth IRA will have many decades to grow if you open it when your child is young.

And while a Roth IRA has an early distribution penalty, that penalty is generally waived for certain expenses, such as paying for qualified college expenses, if your child needs to access those funds. That flexibility can make a Roth IRA appealing.

Can you open a Roth IRA for a child? Yes! A Roth IRA for kids, called a Custodial Roth IRA, can be opened by a parent, grandparent, or other adult for a child of any age, as long as the child earns income (more on that later).

Here’s everything you need to know about a Roth IRA for kids.

What Is a Roth IRA for Kids?

A Roth IRA for kids, also known as a custodial Roth IRA, is an IRA opened by an adult (usually a parent), who manages the account until the child gets full control of it, which is at age 18 or 21 in most states.

A custodial Roth IRA for kids generally operates in the same way a Roth IRA for adults does. The account holder contributes after-tax dollars toward their retirement savings and the money grows tax-free in the account.

In order to open and contribute to a Roth IRA, your child must have earned income.


💡 Quick Tip: Before opening an investment account, know your investment objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance. These fundamentals will help keep your strategy on track and with the aim of meeting your goals.

Who’s Eligible for a Roth IRA for Kids?

A child of any age can have a Roth IRA for kids. However, to be eligible, a child must have an earned income. Earned income can include the compensation earned from jobs like babysitting, dog walking, or working for an employer.

Custodial Roth IRA Rules

In addition to the standard rules for a Roth IRA, there are specific rules for custodial Roth IRAs. These rules include:

No Minimum Age Limit

A child of any age can have a custodial Roth IRA as long as he or she has earned income.

A Child Must Have Earned Income

In order to open a custodial Roth IRA, a child must have earned income. The IRS generally defines earned income as taxable income, wages, and tips. This can also include self-employment, such as yard work or babysitting. Cash gifts given to a child do not count as earned income.

There Are Contribution Limits

The contribution limit for a Roth IRA is $7,000 for 2024 ($8,000 for those 50 and older), or the total of the individual’s earned income for the year, whichever is less.

In addition, a child (or an adult on behalf of a child) cannot contribute an amount greater than the child’s earned income. So if a child earned $2,000 as a lifeguard at the local swimming pool, for example, the most that can be contributed to the child’s custodial IRA that year, including contributions from parents, is $2,000.

Certain Early Withdrawals Are Allowed

In general, you can withdraw contributions from a Roth IRA at any time without penalty. Earnings typically can’t be withdrawn before age 59 ½ without penalty except in certain circumstances. Allowable exceptions include withdrawals up to certain limits to pay for qualified college expenses, cover certain medical bills, and to buy a first home.

Eventual Conversion to a Regular Roth IRA

When the child reaches the legal age in their state (typically 18 or 21, depending on the state), the custodial Roth IRA will need to be converted to a regular Roth IRA in the child’s name.

Boost your retirement contributions with a 1% match.

SoFi IRAs now get a 1% match on every dollar you deposit, up to the annual contribution limits. Open an account today and get started.


Only offers made via ACH are eligible for the match. ACATs, wires, and rollovers are not included.

How to Open a Custodial Roth IRA for a Kid

A Roth IRA for kids can be opened by any adult, such as a parent or grandparent, for instance. While the child is a minor, the adult will have sole access to the account; once the child comes of age (the timing of which varies by state), the account will transfer over to the child.

As with any Roth IRA, investment options within the account can include stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

A Roth IRA can be opened through a financial institution or brokerage firm. You can typically open the account online by providing some basic information about yourself and your child. Choosing the right institution and Roth IRA offering depends on the investor and their preferences, so be sure to do some research.


💡 Quick Tip: Did you know that you must choose the investments in your IRA? Once you open a new IRA and start saving, you get to decide which mutual funds, ETFs, or other investments you want — it’s totally up to you.

Benefits of Starting a Roth IRA for a Child

Flexibility in how to use the funds can be one benefit of opening a custodial Roth IRA as part of an investment plan for your child. A Roth IRA can provide flexibility not only for potential expenses in early adulthood — such as college expenses or buying a home — but can be an investment vehicle throughout your child’s lifetime.

Another benefit is that a Roth IRA typically gives you more control over investments than an education-focused 529 college savings plan, and it may allow you to create a diversified portfolio of different asset classes.

A Roth IRA is a gift that can keep growing, since investors can potentially maximize compounding returns to get the most out of their investment. Here’s how a Roth IRA may unlock the power of compounding: As an example, let’s say you open a custodial Roth IRA when the child is 10 years old, and contribute $2,000 annually. At a certain point, your child might take over contributing $2,000 annually.

Assuming a 7% rate of return, the account will be worth $928,000 by the time your child is 60 years old — even though the amount you and your child contributed would be $100,000 in total. In comparison, if that same money was put in a taxable savings account over the same time period, the total of the account would be approximately $515,764.

And unlike a traditional IRA, there is no required minimum distribution (RMD) on a Roth IRA once the account owner reaches retirement age. A Roth IRA also allows people to continue contributing throughout their lifetime, as long as they’re earning income.

Alternatives to a Roth IRA for a Kid

If you’re looking for other possible investments for your child, some options to consider include the following.

•   Savings account: A parent can open a savings account for a child, as long as the parent is a joint account holder. Savings accounts typically have low interest rates (as of January 2024, the average interest rate for a savings account was 0.47%), so you might want to look for a high-yield savings account instead. These accounts have average interest rates of more than 4% as of early 2024.

•   Savings bonds: If your child doesn’t have earned income, you may want to consider savings bonds. However, savings bonds don’t offer the same potential tax advantages a Roth IRA does since you have to pay federal income tax on the bonds when they mature or you cash them. You won’t pay income taxes on Roth IRA earnings unless you take a non-qualified distribution.

•   529 plans: These plans can help you save for your child’s education. You can typically invest the money you contribute to a 529 plan and choose from a wide range of investment options. While these plans aren’t tax deductible at the federal level, your state may offer tax breaks for contributions made to them. And funds can be withdrawn tax-free for qualified education expenses. As of 2024, money left in a 529 may be rolled over to a Roth IRA for your child, although certain conditions and limits may apply.

•   UGMA/UTMA accounts: A Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) account and a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account are custodial accounts in which an adult can invest on behalf of a child. These accounts are typically used to invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and so on. There are no contribution or income limits, and gifts below the annual gift threshold do not need to be reported. However, there are no tax benefits when contributions are made, and earnings are made to these accounts, and earnings are subject to taxes. When the child reaches legal age, they take over control of the account.

The Takeaway

For a child with earned income, a custodial Roth IRA may be a good way to help them prepare for their future and get started on the path to investing. A child does need to have an earned income to open a custodial Roth IRA, and contributions cannot exceed their income. If your child qualifies, a Roth IRA for kids could potentially give them years of tax-free growth on their money.

Ready to invest in your goals? It’s easy to get started when you open an investment account with SoFi Invest. You can invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, alternative funds, and more. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).


Invest with as little as $5 with a SoFi Active Investing account.

FAQ

Can you open a Roth IRA for a child if they don’t earn income?

No. A child must have earned income — which the IRS defines as wages, salaries, tips and other taxable employee compensation, as well as net earnings from self-employment — in order to open a custodial Roth IRA.

Can you open a Roth IRA for a baby?

It’s possible to open an IRA for a baby. As long as a baby earns an income — modeling baby clothes, for instance — you can open a custodial Roth IRA for them. There is no minimum age to open a custodial Roth IRA, but the child must have earned income.

Is it a good idea to open a Roth IRA for a child?

It may be a good idea to open a Roth IRA for a child for several reasons. A Roth IRA can help a child save up for and cover certain expenses in early adulthood, such as qualified college expenses. Also, a Roth IRA typically has higher returns than a savings account. And because kids have a low tax rate now, when contributions are made, it makes sense to open a Roth IRA, which is taxed upfront. At retirement, as long as they are at least age 59 ½, they can withdraw the money tax-free.

Can I give my child money for a Roth IRA?

Yes, you can contribute to your child’s IRA. However, annual contributions to the account cannot exceed the child’s annual earned income. Also, per IRS rules, the overall amount you can contribute to a Roth IRA is to $7,000 in 2024 for individuals under age 50, or the total annual earned income, whichever is less.

What is the disadvantage of a Roth IRA for kids?

One potential disadvantage of an IRA for kids is that your child must earn an income in order to open and contribute to an account. In addition, you can only contribute the amount the child earns. So if the child makes $500 for the year babysitting, that is the most you can contribute to their custodial Roth IRA.

Can I open a Roth IRA for my 2 year old?

As long as your 2-year-old earns an income, you can open a custodial Roth IRA for them. There is no minimum age requirement for a Roth IRA for kids.

How do I prove my child’s income for a Roth IRA?

If your child receives a W-2 or 1099 form for work they did for an employer, you can use those documents to prove your child’s income. However, if they are self-employed and do work like babysitting, dog walking or yard work to earn money, you should keep receipts or records of the type of work they did, the amount they earned, when the work was done, and who it was for, as proof of their income.

What happens to a custodial Roth IRA when the child turns 18?

Once a child is of legal age, which is typically 18 or 21, depending on your state, the IRA must be converted to a regular Roth IRA in the child’s name that they then own and manage.

Do children need to file a tax return to fund their Roth IRA?

As long as their income is below the threshold that requires them to file a tax return, children are typically not required to file a tax return just because they have a custodial IRA. However, you may want to consult with a tax professional about your specific situation.


Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

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