Qualified Retirement Plans

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

What is a Qualified Retirement Plan?


A qualified retirement plan is a financial plan that meets specific requirements set forth by the Internal Revenue Code in the United States. It offers tax advantages to encourage saving for retirement.

Employer Contributions Made To A Qualified Plan

Types of Qualified Retirement Plans

  • Defined Benefit Plans: These promise a specified monthly benefit at retirement, often based on salary and years of service.
  • Defined Contribution Plans: The most common type is the 401(k) plan. Contributions are typically made by the employee, sometimes matched by the employer.

Tax Benefits

  • Contributions: Often tax-deductible, lowering taxable income.
  • Earnings: Investment gains are tax-deferred until withdrawal.

Withdrawal Rules

Qualified Retirement Plan

Key Features of Qualified Retirement Plans

Tax AdvantagesContributions are pre-tax, reducing taxable income.
Employer ContributionsEmployers can match a portion of employee contributions.
Investment GrowthEarnings grow tax-deferred until withdrawal.
Withdrawal AgePenalty-free withdrawals typically start at age 59½.
RMDsRequired distributions begin at age 72.
Loan OptionsSome plans allow loans against the account balance.

Qualified Retirement Plans At A Glance (2023)

Nonqualified Annuity401kIRARoth
Maximum ContributionNo Limits$22,500$6,500$6,500
Catch-Up ContributionN/A$7,500$1,000$1,000
How Are Savings TaxedTax-DeferredTax-DeferredTax-DeferredTax-Deferred
How Is Spending TaxedGains-Only TaxedFully TaxableFully TaxableTax-Free
Distribution Before 59 1/210% Penalty On Gains Withdrawn10% Penalty – All Withdrawals10% Penalty – All Withdrawals10% Penalty – All Withdrawals
RMDsNoneAge 73Age 73None


Qualified retirement plans are crucial for financial security in retirement, offering tax benefits and various options to suit different needs. Understanding the specifics of your plan can significantly impact your retirement readiness. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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