School and Public Employees
What is a 403(b)?
403(b)s are retirement savings plans that allow employee contributions to grow tax-deferred or tax-free until withdrawn in retirement. A 403(b) plan is similar to a 401(k) plan in that it’s an easy way to save for retirement and benefit from pretax or Roth salary deferrals, except a 403(b) is designed for employees of the following types of organizations:
- Public education institutions – elementary and high schools, colleges and universities
- Churches or church-related organizations
- 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations like hospitals, museums and more
403(b)s are offered through your employer and the contributions you make come directly from your paycheck. With traditional tax-deferred investing, you can contribute on a pretax basis and your contributions and earnings grow tax-deferred. Over time, this tax-deferred compounding can have a dramatic impact on your retirement savings. The Roth feature offered by some 403(b) plans lets you fund your retirement account with income that’s already been taxed, and contributions and their investment earnings can be withdrawn tax free.
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