A retirement plan that permits an employee to set aside a portion of salary in a tax-deferred investment account selected by the employer. Contributions and the income they earn are sheltered from taxes until the funds are withdrawn. Also called 401(k) plan. See also Roth 401(k).
salary reduction plan - Investment & Finance Definition
A plan that lets employees put pre-tax wages into a
tax-deferred retirement plan. A prime example of this type of plan is a 401(k)
plan that allows employees to defer part of their salary into a tax-deferred
plan to fund their retirement. Employees are then taxed at the lower salary
A retirement plan that permits an employee to set aside a portion of salary in a tax-deferred investment account selected by the employer. Contributions made to the account and income earned by the contributions are sheltered from taxes until the funds are withdrawn. Also called 401(k) plan.
Case Study Salary reduction plans offer substantial tax benefits, yet at the same time they can place employee contributions at considerable risk depending on what type of investments are used to fund the plans. Especially risky are plans that invest all or most of the contributions in the employer's common stock. Consider the example of energy conglomerate Enron Corporation, whose stock tumbled nearly 99% to 60¢ per share in the 12 months ending November 2001. At of the end of 2000 approximately half of Enron's $2.1 billion 401(k) plan was invested in Enron common stock. Enron's policy was to match employee contributions at 50¢ on the dollar, for up to 6% of an employee's salary. Like many major corporations, Enron made its contributions to the firm's plan in company stock. Employees were permitted to select alternative investments, but many chose to use Enron shares to fund their contributions. As Enron shares plummeted many employees of the company saw virtually the entire value of their individual 401(k) plans evaporate at the same time as they faced the possibility of losing their jobs in a company that filed for bankruptcy.