Home / 401k News / Is a Roth 401k Likely to Replace Traditional 401k Plans in a Trump Tax Overhaul? Not Likely

Is a Roth 401k Likely to Replace Traditional 401k Plans in a Trump Tax Overhaul? Not Likely

roth 401(k)

A Roth 401k is an employer-sponsored investment savings account that is funded with employee contributions using after-tax money up to the contribution limit of the plan. This type of investment account is well-suited to people who think they will be in a higher tax bracket in retirement than they are now. The traditional 401k plan is funded with pretax money which results in a tax levy on future withdrawals, when it is assumed that the employee with be in a lower tax bracket.

For the well-heeled saver and those whose tax liability is likely to go up in retirement years, a Roth 401k can be an alternative, but for the average worker, it is not. Even under lighter tax burdens for lower wage individuals, post-tax savings plans will not likely supplant the tax-deferred advantages of plans like 401k. Furthermore, it is not likely that the Trump Administration will remove the tax advantages of 401k…at least not without a better or equivalent alternative.

The Trump Administration has promised long-needed changes for the US taxpayer in the form of lower taxes and a simpler tax code. What does that mean for your 401k plan?

Back in mid-April, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that the Trump Administration was planning to release its tax reform proposal imminently, promising that a sweeping overhaul of the tax code will be a cornerstone of the newly-proposed legislation.  Tax reform was one of Trump’s campaign platform promises, and it has still held a place of importance as President Trump now looks to unwind the disastrous and complex tax code for companies and individuals.

For the Trump administration, there are three objectives here.

  1. Reduce taxes for individuals and corporations
  2. Simplify the tax code
  3. Maintain or increase tax revenue to the Treasury

Reducing Tax Rates and Simplifying the Tax are polarizing issues in Washington. However, both Democrats and Republicans can both get behind these issues to some extent.  The real issues arise when it comes to cutting programs and finding the new sources of revenue.

Impact on Employees and their 401k

Pundits speculating over the death of 401ks and the need to diversify into Roth 401ks or other plans is absurd and fear-mongering at best. As I have pointed-out in previous articles, it would be political suicide to interfere in current retirement savings plans tax advantage rules such as 401k. However, considering the ineffectiveness of the 401k plan, how many workers are still woefully unprepared for retirement and how it only covers half of all workers, it would be a welcome change if it too got an overhaul. Today’s 401k deferral plan is literally a patchwork of fixes and stop-gap measures, and by many industry measures, traditional 401ks are failing.

And while the current 401k regiment may not be perfect, and indeed non-existent for close to half the working population, should we even be sad to see it go?

Timothy Kelly
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Timothy Kelly

Tim Kelly is the Founder of ForexTV. Since its inception in 2003, ForexTV has been a global leader in forex news and has expanded its news coverage to multiple industries. ForexTV is now one of the most recognized brands in global financial news. Mr. Kelly was also the creator and co-founder of 401kTV where he served as Managing Editor until April 2017.

Mr. Kelly is an expert in online marketing, search engine optimization, content development and content distribution. He has consulted some of the top brokerages, media companies and financial exchanges on online marketing and content management including: The New York Board of Trade, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Business Times, Briefing.com, Bloomberg and Bridge Information Systems and 401kTV.

He continues to be a regular market analyst and writer for ForexTV.com. He holds a Series 3 and Series 34 CFTC registration and formerly was a Commodities Trading Advisor (CTA). Tim is also an expert and specialist in Ichimoku technical analysis. He was also a licensed Property & Casualty; Life, Accident & Health Insurance Producer in New York State.

In addition to writing about the financial markets, Mr. Kelly writes extensively about online marketing and content marketing.

Mr. Kelly attended Boston College where he studied English Literature and Economics, and also attended the University of Siena, Italy where he studied studio art.

Mr. Kelly has been a decades-long community volunteer in his hometown of Long Island where he established the community assistance foundation, Kelly's Heroes. He has also been a coach of Youth Lacrosse for over 10 years. Prior to volunteering in youth sports, Mr. Kelly was involved in the Inner City Scholarship program administered by the Archdiocese of New York.

Before creating ForexTV, Mr, Kelly was Sr. VP Global Marketing for Bridge Information Systems, the world’s second largest financial market data vendor. Prior to Bridge, Mr. Kelly was a team leader of Media at Bloomberg Financial Markets, where he created Bloomberg Personal Magazine with an initial circulation of over 7 million copies monthly.
Timothy Kelly
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