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Understanding Traditional vs. Roth IRAs

To open a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, download our prospectus and application forms.

To convert an existing Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, download our IRA Conversion Form.

If your company offers a SEP or SIMPLE retirement plan, please call 1-800-582-6757 to ask how to add the Domini Funds to your plan. 

Traditional IRAs Roth IRAs
How does it work?
  • Contributions may be tax deductible.
  • Earnings grow tax-deferred
  • Withdrawals taxed as ordinary income when you retire.
  • Contributions are not tax deductible,
  • You may pay no tax on withdrawals when you retire.
  • Contributions may be withdrawn at any time.
  • Withdrawn earnings may be subject to income tax and 10% penalty, unless certain conditions are met.
Making withdrawals
  • Withdrawals before age 59½ generally subject to 10% penalty in addition to income tax. (See exceptions.)
  • Beginning in the year you turn 70½, you must start making regular minimum withdrawals or pay a penalty.

The above tax and penalty generally do not apply to the extent that your withdrawal is deemed to consist of nondeductible contributions.

  • Contributions may be withdrawn at any time.
  • Withdrawn earnings may be subject to income tax and 10% penalty, unless certain conditions are met.
  • Earnings or amounts attributable to a prior conversion from a Traditional IRA that is withdrawn within a 5-year period, or before age 59½, may be subject to 10% penalty.
  • Generally not required to make regular minimum withdrawals at any time, with certain exceptions.
Which kind of IRA is right for me?

May be best if:

  • You think your tax rate in retirement will be lower than it is now, and
  • You do not plan to withdraw your money before age 59½.

May be best if:

  • You think your tax rate in retirement will be higher than it is now, or
  • You might need your contributions before age 59½, or
  • Your income is too high to qualify for the Traditional IRA tax deduction.
Can I contribute?

Yes, if:

  • You will not turn 70½ this year and
  • You have taxable compensation,* or
  • Your spouse has taxable compensation but you do not (and your spouse does not turn 70½ this year).

You may not contribute If neither you nor your spouse has any taxable compensation during the tax year.

You may contribute to a Roth IRA at any age if:

  • You have taxable compensation,* and your income is below a certain level, or
  • Your spouse has taxable compensation (below a certain level) but you do not.

You may not contribute if neither you nor your spouse has any taxable compensation during a tax year.

 

How much can I contribute?

If you will not reach age 50 in 2014, you can contribute up to $5,500 this year for all your IRAs combined (Traditional and Roth).

If you will turn 50 before or during 2014, you can contribute up to $6,500.

Single: cannot contribute more than your taxable compensation during the year.

Married and you and your spouse each have taxable compensation: can establish separate IRAs and each contribute up to $5,500 for 2014 (or $6,500 if you reach age 50 before or during the year). If your combined income is less than your combined limits, the combined IRA contributions are limited to 100% of your taxable compensation.* 

Roth IRAs: Income phaseouts apply, and the amount you can contribute reaches zero at modified adjusted gross income of $129,000 or more (if you are single) or $191,000 or more (if you are married, filing jointly). Please see table for additional details.

Is my contribution tax-deductible?

Not covered by retirement plan at work: Fully tax-deductible within the allowable limit.

Covered by a retirement plan at work: For tax year 2014, contributions are generally fully deductible if your modified adjusted gross income is ≤ $60,000 (single or head of household) or ≤ $96,000 (married, filing jointly, or a qualifying widow or widower). IRA deduction phases out above these amounts and is eliminated at or above $70,000 (single) and $116,000 (married, filing jointly).

Deductibility phases out if your filing status is married filing jointly and spouse was covered by plan at work, but you were not.

View table for further details.

Filing status of married filing separately is subject to special rules.

Contributions to Roth IRAs are never tax-deductible.

Can I roll over money from other accounts?

If you qualify, you can roll over money held in employer-sponsored retirement arrangements (401(k)s, SEPs, etc.), government deferred compensation plans (section 457 plans), or tax-sheltered annuities (section 403 plans).

If properly and timely rolled over, the 10% additional tax on early distributions will not apply.

 

If you qualify, you can roll over money from other Roth IRAs or from SEP IRAs or SIMPLE IRAs, and convert and roll over from (401(k)s, SEPs, etc.), government deferred compensation plans (section 457 plans), or tax-sheltered annuities (section 403 plans).

There are no income or filing status requirements for converting a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.

For further details see 401(k) Rollover Information.

*Taxable compensation includes wages, commissions, self-employment income, alimony, and combat pay. It does not include such things as property income, interest and dividends, or pension or annuity income.

The table above highlights key differences between the Traditional IRA and the Roth IRA. The information set forth above is intended only as a brief, general overview of certain federal income tax provisions. It should not be considered tax, legal, or investment advice. Domini Social Investments LLC, DSIL Investment Services LLC, and their affiliates and agents are not tax advisors, and do not provide tax advice.