If your spouse isn't earning income, he or she can open a separate spousal IRA to which you (the income-earning spouse) can contribute. The same contribution limits apply for these accounts as they do for Traditional and Roth IRAs. This means the annual contribution limit in 2016 is $5,500 and $6,500 if your spouse is 50 or older. You can still contribute the maximum amount into your own individual account, and you must file a joint tax return in any year you make a contribution to the spousal IRA.
Though you're the one contributing to the account, the spousal IRA is registered in your spouse's name. This means that your spouse may enjoy all of the same rights, and must abide by the same rules, that you do with your own account.
This material is for informational purposes only and Scottrade is not responsible for any errors or omissions. The information is subject to change without notice and should not be construed as a recommendation or investment advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor(s) for questions concerning your personal tax or financial situation.