The federal government encourages saving for retirement by giving tax breaks to people who save in specific ways. There are several types of tax perks for retirement savers, each with special rules and restrictions. Here are some of the best tax breaks available to people who save for retirement:
401(k). One of the best ways to get a tax deduction while you save for retirement is through a 401(k) or similar type of retirement account, like a 403(b) or the federal government’s thrift savings plan. Employees who are eligible for these workplace retirement accounts can defer income tax on up to $17,500 in 2013, $500 more than in 2012. And people age 50 and older can delay paying income tax on as much as $23,000 in 2013, $5,500 more than younger people. Income tax won’t be due on your contributions until you withdraw the money, which you are required to do beginning after age 70½. Traditional 401(k)s generally work best for people who expect to be in a lower tax bracket in retirement than they are now. “You get the employer match and tax-deferred growth, and you get to take it out when your taxes are theoretically going to be lower,” says John Dulmage, a certified financial planner for Financial Pathways in Londonderry, N.H.