At work I pay into an "involuntary 401(a)" retirement plan. I'd like to also open up a Roth IRA on my own. Do the contributions I make through my work plan count against the $5000/year limit on the Roth?


No, your 401(a) contributions will not count against your Roth IRA limit. Contributing to other IRA accounts can reduce how much you can contribute to a Roth account, but 401(a)/401(k) and other employer sponsored plans do not count against the Roth IRA limit.

The IRS publishes a lot of really good information on this topic, which you can find here. It's pretty long though, so it's best used as a reference.

  • I did spend some time reading publication 590 before posting (good cure for insomnia!). With my primitive understanding of finance I was not sure if my plan was considered an IRA. Thanks again for your answer, I'm finding this site insightful. – Josh Aug 11 '11 at 13:02
  • Your 401(a) does not count as an IRA. It does share a limit with 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans, but not the $18,000 limit (in 2015/16) that most people have heard about. Rather it shares a different limit, which is roughly about 3 times the $18k limit (in 2015 it's $53,000). Matching contributions also count against that limit, as well as deferred compensation plans. – stannius Nov 3 '15 at 18:01
  • Update: The link is broken; a currently working link is: irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p590a.pdf In case that link stops working, the title of the document is "Publication 590-A, Contributions to Individual Retriement Arrangements (IRAs)". – Robert Dodier Jul 13 '20 at 3:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.