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Individual Retirement Accounts

Simple Ira

The fifth type of IRA is the Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE). A SIMPLE plan allows an employee to allocate a portion of his or her income to an IRA as long as the employee received at least $5,000 in compensation in one of the previous two years and will receive at least $5,000 during the current year. Further, employees whose benefits are covered by a union, who are nonresident aliens, or who would not have been eligible if not for an acquisition, disposition, or similar activity do not need to be included in the SIMPLE plan.

The contribution is limited to $6,000 per year. As part of the 2001 TRA, the annual contribution increases to $7,000 in 2002, and will increase in $1,000 increments per year, up to $10,000 in 2005. After 2005, the contribution will be indexed to inflation and increase in $500 increments. Employers are required to contribute between 1 and 3 percent of the individual's compensation, but the amount can be only 1 percent for two of the five years following the election period. Rules regarding distributions are the same as those for a traditional IRA. A SIMPLE IRA cannot be a Roth IRA.

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