Roth 401(k) vs. Traditional 401(k)

Your retirement income can vary widely depending on what type of account holds your savings and what assumptions are made about overall returns and tax rates during the accumulation and withdrawal periods. Use this calculator to help compare employee contributions to the new after-tax Roth 401(k) and the current tax-deductible 401(k).
Savings and Assumptions
Current age 
Age when income should start 
Number of years to receive income 
Before tax return on savings (accumulation phase) (%)help
Before tax return on savings (distribution phase) (%)help
Income tax bracket (accumulation phase) (%)help
Income tax bracket (distribution phase) (%)help
Your annual contribution ($) 
Taxation of contribution options
1) Traditional 401(k) deductible account fully funded, contributions to Roth 401(k) non-deductible account are reduced
2) Full contribution made to Roth 401(k) non-deductible account, Traditional 401(k) account given a 'side-account' to reflect tax savings
This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. This worksheet provides estimates based on certain assumptions. It is not intended to provide specific investment advice. The results are not a guarantee of performance. The rate of return on investments will vary over time, particularly for longer-term investments. Investments that offer the potential for high returns also carry a high degree of risk. Actual returns will fluctuate. The types of securities and strategies illustrated may not be suitable for everyone. Roth IRA contributions cannot be made by taxpayers with high incomes. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and distribution must take place after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal also can be taken under certain other circumstances, such as a result of the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals. Contributions to a Traditional IRA may be fully or partially deductable, depending on your individual circumstance. Distributions from traditional IRA and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions. A tax professional can help assess your specific situation.

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