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June 2, 2016

What is a 401(a) Plan? Find out here!

Your Guide


What is a 401(a) Plan?

A 401(a) plan is a qualified retirement plan.

The term “401(a) plan” is often used because that is the section of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) under which the governing rules for qualified retirement plans are found. ( IRC Section 401(a), or IRC § 401(a). )

The following are qualified retirement plans:

Referring Cite

IRC § 401(a), IRS Publication 560

Additional Helpful Information

A profit sharing plan can include a salary deferral feature, which is also known as a ‘qualified cash or deferred arrangement’. The salary deferral feature is referred to as a 401(k) plan, because it is governed under Section 401(k) of the IRC.

A 401(k) salary deferral feature can also be included in a a stock bonus plan, a pre-ERISA money purchase plan, or a rural cooperative plan.

Written By

Denise Appleby

Denise is CEO of Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc., a firm that provides IRA resources for financial/ tax/legal professionals. She has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plans field, which includes training and technical consultation.

Denise writes and publishes educational /marketing tools for advisors; available at Denise co-authored several books on IRAs

Denise is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, where she obtained a Masters of Jurisprudence in Employee Benefits, and has earned 5 professional retirement designations.
She has appeared on numerous media programs, sharing her insights on retirement tax laws.


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