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Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update
Charles A. Jeszeck (au)
To encourage private-sector employers to sponsor pension plans and U.S. workers to save for retirement, federal law authorizes a variety of tax incentives for employer-sponsored pension plans and other retirement savings vehicles. These tax incentives are structured to strike a balance between encouraging employers to start and maintain voluntary, tax-qualified pension plans and ensuring that lower-income employees receive an equitable share of the tax-subsidized benefits. For ex., under current federal law, certain employer contributions to qualified pension plans, contributions made at the election of the employee through salary reduction, and income earned on pension assets are not taxed until distributed. Yet it is estimated that in FY 2014, the tax expenditures for such deferrals will result in the U.S. Treasury forgoing around $100 billion in income taxes. To prevent use of these tax incentives to subsidize excessively large pension benefits, legislation has been enacted to constrain the amount of tax-deferred contributions that can be made to tax-qualified pension plans. This report examined: (1) the number of new pension plans that have been formed since 2009; and: (2) the income characteristics of plan participants affected by the statutory limits, and how they have changed over time. Tables and figures. This is a print on demand report.
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