Ten Differences Between a Roth IRA and a Designated Roth Account

Category Roth IRA Designated Roth Account
Number of Investment Choices Many as long as not prohibited As offered by the plan
Participation Anyone with earned income Participant in a 401(k), 403(b) or 457 governmental plan that allows designated Roth contributions
Contribution limits $6,500 (for 2023) $7,500 (if age 50 or older for 2020-2022). $6,000 (for 2020-2022) $7,000 (if age 50 or older for 2020-2022). Contributions are also limited by tax filing status and adjusted gross income. See Publication 590-A, Contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), for a worksheet to figure your reduced contribution. $22,500 in 2023*, $20,500 in 2022*, $19,500 in 2020 and 2021*; $30,000 in 2023*, $27,000 in 2022*, $26,000 in 2020 and 2021* (if age 50 or older). Limit is not impacted by filing status or adjusted gross income.
Recharacterization of rolled-over amounts

Not allowed for Roth conversions made after 12/31/2017

Not allowed
Required minimum distributions Only after the original IRA owner’s death Yes
Tax on nonqualified distributions Nonqualified distributions are distributed in this order:
  1. Nontaxable contributions
  2. Taxable earnings
Nonqualified distributions are pro-rated between Roth contributions (nontaxable) and earnings (taxable)
Withdrawals Anytime. May be subject to tax if not a qualified distribution Only when allowed by the terms of the plan. Subject to tax if not a qualified distribution
Loans No Yes, if plan allows
5-year holding period for qualified distributions Begins January 1 of the year a contribution is made to any Roth IRA Separate for each Roth account and begins on January 1 of the year contributions made to that account. If one Roth account is rolled into another, the earlier start date applies.
Beneficiary Anyone Anyone but, if married, spouse must consent to nonspouse beneficiary

*See Cost-of-Living Adjustments for other years’ limits.