Compare Traditional and Roth IRAs

Explore the contribution limits, withdrawal guidelines and more for these retirement accounts.
 

 

Traditional

Roth

What's the maximum contribution?1 $5,500, or $6,500 if age 50 or older  $5,500, or $6,500 if age 50 or older
Who is eligible to contribute?2 Individuals whose earned income equals or exceeds the amount of contributions
Individuals who have a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $132,000 or lower; married couples who have a combined MAGI of $194,000 or lower
What's the maximum age I can contribute to an IRA? 70½ Any age
When is the contribution deadline? April 15, 2016, for the 2015 tax year April 15, 2016, for the 2015 tax year
What are the federal
income tax benefits?
In general, contributions are deductible and earnings grow tax-deferred. In general, earnings grow tax-free (although contributions are not deductible).
Are there exceptions to
the tax benefits?
If you or your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, your tax deductibility might be limited if your income reaches certain levels. Check with the IRS to determine the limitations. In general, no, assuming you meet all eligibility requirements.
When can I withdraw funds
without penalty?
Age 59½. In general, withdrawals are subject to income tax. If you're under age 59½, withdrawals of earnings are subject to income tax and penalty. If you're at least age 59½, you will have to pay taxes on earnings if it has been less than 5 years since you initially set up and contributed to your account.
Are there required
minimum distributions?
Yes, starting at age 70½ No
  Learn more about Traditional IRAs Learn more about Roth IRAs

 

 

1 You cannot contribute more than your earned income in a year. So if your earned income was $4,000, your combined IRA contributions cannot exceed $4,000.

2 Assuming you meet eligibility requirements, you can contribute to both a Roth and a Traditional IRA. The maximum contribution to both cannot exceed a combined $5,500, or $6,500 if you're at least age 50.