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IRA Comparison and Contribution Limits

Compare Roth and Traditional IRAs

Roth IRA Traditional IRA
Main Benefit Offers the potential for tax free growth. Offers the potential for tax deferred growth and a tax deduction for eligible contributions.
Do I pay tax on my distribution? Not as long as you funded the Roth more than five years ago and you are age 59 1/2 or meet other requirements.2 Yes, in the year of the distribution on all deductible contributions and any earnings.2
Can I make a tax-free distribution of my contributions? Yes, because your contributions are not included in gross income. No, not on deductible contributions. If you have after tax amounts the pro rata rule applies.
When do required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin? Roth IRA owners have no RMDs. RMDs generally begin by April 1 following the year you reach age 72.

1 Brokerage IRAs with Brokerage Cash Services are eligible for this feature. Online access is required. Talk to your Financial Advisor for more information about the benefits of Brokerage Cash Services.

2 Traditional IRA distributions are generally taxed as ordinary income. Qualified Roth IRA distributions are tax-free provided a Roth account has been open for more than five years and the owner is at least age 59½, or as a result of their death, disability, or using the first-time homebuyer exception. Qualified Roth IRA distributions are not subject to state and local taxation in most states. Distributions from Traditional and Roth IRAs may be subject to an IRS 10% additional tax for early or pre-59½ distributions. For SIMPLE IRAs, the IRS penalty increases to 25% if a distribution is taken prior to two years from when the first deposit was made into the SIMPLE IRA if under 59½.