Roth Comparison Chart

 

Roth 401(k), Roth IRA, and Pre-tax 401(k) Retirement Accounts

  

 

 Designated Roth 401(k) 

 Roth IRA

 Pre-Tax 401(k) 

 Contributions

Designated Roth employee elective contributions are made with after-tax dollars. Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars. Traditional, pre-tax employee elective contributions are made with before-tax dollars.

 Income Limits

No income limitation to participate.

Income limits: 

  • 2019 - modified AGI married $203,000/single $137,000
  • 2018 - modified AGI married $199,000/single $135,000
No income limitation to participate.
 

 Maximum Elective Contribution

Aggregate* employee elective contributions limited to $19,000 in 2019 and $18,500 in 2018 (plus an additional $6,000 for employees age 50 or over). Contribution limited to $6,000 plus an additional $1,000 for employees age 50 or over in 2019 ($5,500 plus an additional $1,000 for employees age 50 or over in 2018). Same aggregate* limit as Designated Roth 401(k) Account
 

 Taxation of Withdrawals

Withdrawals of contributions and earnings are not taxed provided it’s a qualified distribution – the account is held for at least 5 years and made:

  • On account of disability,
  • On or after death, or
  • On or after attainment of age 59½.
Same as Designated Roth 401(k) Account and can have a qualified distribution for a first time home purchase. Withdrawals of contributions and earnings are subject to Federal and most State income taxes.
 

 Required Distributions

Distributions must begin no later than age 70½, unless still working and not a 5% owner. No requirement to start taking distributions while owner is alive. Same as Designated Roth 401(k) Account.
* This limitation is by individual, rather than by plan. You can split your annual elective deferrals between designated Roth contributions and traditional pre-tax contributions, but your combined contributions  cannot exceed the deferral limit - $19,000 in 2019 and $18,500 in 2018 ($25,000 in 2019 and $24,500 in 2018 if you're eligible for catch-up contributions).