Defined Contribution Plans Examples: Best one for you

there are different types of defined contribution plans examples in which you can invest money towards retirement depending on your job situation, companies supply some of them, while individuals; can set up the others.

You do not need to rely on Social Security to fund your living expenses if you do not have enough income to live after retirement. This does not have to be the case for you.

Here’s what all you need to know about the best types of defined contribution plans examples to choose the right one for you.

What Is a Defined Contribution Plan?

A defined contribution plan (DC) is a type of retirement plan in which employees contribute a percentage of the paycheck to a retirement account in order to supplement their retirement savings.

Your company makes a contribution to your individual account based on your contribution level. And you have access to the money you’ve put in.

Employers have the most expense control and design flexibility with defined contribution plans, and workers get a retirement benefit that they can appreciate.

Because social security may not be enough to cover your retirement expenses, you should invest in DC plans to enhance your future benefits.

If your company offered a retirement plan, you should almost likely take advantage of it. Because it can help you get a head start on your retirement savings. However, where you work has an impact on your retirement choices.

Defined contribution plans examples are 401(k)s and Roth 401(k)s

Let’s get into defined contribution plans examples that employers usually offer.

Best Defined Contribution Plans Examples Sponsored by Employer

401(k) Plans

A 401(k) plan is a defined contribution retirement plan that a firm offers to its employees of a company.

Traditional and Roth 401(k)s are the two most common types, and they differ principally in how they are taxed.

Employee contributions to traditional 401(k)s are pre-tax funds. This means there are no taxes until the money is taken after deducting money from their gross income.

While Roth 401(k)s allow after-tax contributions. Employees pay income taxes on their contributions to the plan and are tax-free on their withdrawals.

Employees must contribute at least enough money to their 401(k) plan in order to receive the full company match contribution (k).

There are certain disadvantages to 401(k)s, such as the fact that there is no guarantee that your employer will select the most cost-effective plans for you. Thus you will be at the mercy of your employer.

457 Plans

457 plans are retirement plans that are employer-sponsored, tax-advantaged, deferred compensation plans that state governments provide to employees of local government agencies and some nonprofit companies.

Employees of governmental agencies contribute a percentage of their salary to their retirement account. Where the earnings grow in value without being taxed until you withdraw the funds.

Participants in a 457(k) plan can withdraw as soon as they retire at any age; as with a 401(k), they do not have to wait until they reach the age of 59½.

There are two types of 457 plans:

  • 457(b) which is offered to employees who work for the state and local government employees.
  • 457(f): A plan offered to select group of managers and highly compensated government.

Unfortunately, individual contributions to 457 plans are limited to the combined amount. And they do not offer the same level of employer match as 401(k) plans.

403(b) Plan

A 403(b) plan is a retirement account for public school and tax-exempt organization employees rather than private-sector employees. It will provide significant tax benefits in the future for the retirement plan.

Your contributions to the plan are pre-tax, which means that they are withdrawn from your salary before you get it and put straight into the 403(b) plan, bypassing any income taxes.

You are not required to pay income taxes on the money you put in. And your earnings can grow tax-free until you start withdrawing.

Many businesses will match all or portion of your contributions, with the amount varying by the employer. So aim to contribute as much as feasible to maximize your employer’s matching contribution. This is practically free money that will help you get closer to your retirement goals.
You can only contribute a certain amount to a 403(b) plan during the course of a year, just like a 401(k) plan.

A 403(b) may not be a viable option for you if you plan to be in a higher tax bracket in retirement.

Read Types of Savings Accounts: Secure Your Savings.

Best Defined Contribution Plans Examples for Small Businesses & the Self-Employed

Self-employed and business owners have a variety of plan options, including defined contribution plans like solo 401(k) and SEP IRAs. Which allows you to save far more than you could with a traditional workplace plan.

Solo 401(k) Plans

The solo 401(k) is a plan for self-employed persons or business owners with no workers that provide all of the benefits of a “traditional” company-sponsored 401(k) plan. As well as additional benefits, making it an excellent choice for entrepreneurs.

A solo traditional 401(k) retirement plan allows you to make pre-tax contributions. Contributions to a Roth 401(k) are made after-tax.

For those who have no access to a regular employer-sponsored 401(k). A solo 401(k) provides some of the benefits of a traditional 401(k).

It’s great for one-person firms or married people with enough income and a large enough business to effectively utilize the plan.

If you have a full-time employee, you can’t open a solo 401(k). But if your spouse earns income from your business, you may. Which sounds like a terrific way to double the amount you can invest as a family.

SEP Plans (Simplified Employee Pension)

A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) is a retirement plan set up by a small business owner or self-employed individual for both themselves and their employees.

This type of plan allows you to save tax-free while paying taxes on withdrawals in retirement. Which means your contributions will lower your taxable income.

You can’t contribute more than 25% of an employee’s salary. So you’d have to earn a lot more to make the same amount of money.

Employers, including self-employed people, contribute to the SEP Plan. And the decision regarding whether and how much to contribute each year is based on the business’s financial resources and cash flow.

The employer entirely funds these plans. As a result, the employer is not in charge of investment decisions. Instead, an IRA trustee selects which assets are qualified. And the individual employees who hold the accounts make the final investment selections.


  • Contribute to your individual account on a regular basis, up to the plan limit.
  • Decide whether you want to contribute pre-tax or after-tax to a Roth account.
  • Check if your current employer offers matching contributions, and if so, consider maximizing your employer’s matching contribution.

Defined Contribution Plans Examples: The Bottom Line

To optimize your benefits, you will be better prepared and attain the retirement you desire if you understand your retirement plan options.

The days of workers being able to rely on a company pension plan and Social Security to cover their expenses are long gone.

Each of the current defined contribution plans has its own set of advantages. However, they all share one thing:: investing in them is a crucial part of preparing for retirement.

Always keep in mind that the greatest retirement plan for you is unique to your circumstances.

Written by Shaher H

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