401(k)s and IRAs

IRA Calculator  This Morningstar tool can tell you whether you’re eligible to contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA or both; show you how much you can contribute; and help you decide which type you should contribute to in a given year. (You must register with the Morningstar site to use this tool. Registration is free.)

Investment Returns: Defined Benefit Vs. Defined Contribution Plans  The Boston College Center for Retirement Research compares the investment performance of pension plans and 401(k)-type defined contribution plans, finding that higher fees are the main reason 401(k) and similar plans tend to underperform their defined-benefit counterparts.

Contribution Limits for IRAs and 401(k)s  This IRS release details the maximum allowable annual contributions for 2015 and 2016 for traditional and Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457 plans and spells out the income eligibility criteria for traditional and Roth IRA accounts.

Fairmark.com  Virtually anything you want to know about Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s, you can  find on this comprehensive site. And as if that’s not enough, Fairmark.com founder and editor Kaye Thomas is also an authority on investment and gift taxes, stock options and UGMA/UTMA accounts. His book, Go Roth! Your Guide To The Roth IRA and Other Roth Accounts, is also available through this site.

Should You Convert Your IRA to a Roth IRA?  This tool will show you how much tax you’ll owe by converting a portion of your traditional IRA to a Roth and help you assess whether such a conversion makes sense.

Required Minimum Distributions  For details on when and how much you’re required to withdraw from IRA and 401(k) accounts, check out IRS Publication 590-B and these worksheets. This table compares the distribution rules for IRAs vs. 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans.