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Difference Between 401k and 403b

Difference Between 401k and 403b

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a 401k and 403b? Whether you’re in the process of building up your retirement savings or considering investing for your future, understanding the differences between these two financial instruments can be incredibly helpful.

With so many options out there when it comes to planning for retirement, it’s important to understand each option before settling on one. In this blog post, we’ll explain the key differences between a 401k and 403b, helping you make an informed decision about how best to save for retirement. So keep reading if you’re looking to learn more about how a 401k could work alongside a 403b to help you achieve your retirement goals!

What is 401k?

401k is a retirement account offered by many employers. It allows employees to save for retirement in an easy and convenient way. 401k plans are tax-advantaged, meaning that participants can save money on taxes by contributing to their 401k accounts. Additionally, 401k investments are managed professionally in order to maximize the benefit of retirement savings. Employee contributions are also matched by employers in many 401k plans, increasing the amount of investment returns significantly. 401ks allow employees to safely save for their long-term financial goals, creating a secure financial future.

What is 403b?

  • 403b is a type of retirement savings plan offered exclusively to employees of state, public education, and tax-exempt organizations. It is similar to the 401k, in that both offer a tax-sheltered way for individuals to save for retirement.
  • 403b plans are administered through employers, who often provide an array of 403b investment options from which their employees can choose.
  • By investing in a 403b plan, saving for retirement becomes much easier as contributions are made pre-tax and compound interest accumulates over time.
  • All earnings grow free from tax until the account holder begins to make withdrawals. 403b retirement plans are the perfect way to begin saving for the future!

Difference Between 401k and 403b

Retirement savings plans such as 401ks and 403bs are offered through employers, but they actually have quite a few differences. 401ks are retirement accounts issued as part of an employee’s benefits package, while 403bs are offered primarily to public school employees and nonprofit employees.

  • 401ks can offer a variety of different investments such as mutual funds, ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), stocks, and bonds, while 403b plans usually are limited to annuities or mutual fund investments.
  • Additionally, 401k contributions are pre-tax dollars, meaning Uncle Sam reduces your current taxable income for contributions made each year, whereas 403b contributions can be effective both before and after taxes.
  • Lastly, 401ks cap annual contributions at $19,500 per year compared to $17,500 for the in403b; however those aged 50 or above can contribute up to an additional $6000 annually.

Knowing these differences between 401k and 403b plans is essential when selecting a retirement savings plan that best suits your needs.


The bottom line is that there are some key differences between a 401k and a 403b plan. How important those differences are to you will depend on your personal financial situation and goals. If you’re not sure which retirement savings vehicle is right for you, consult with a trusted financial advisor. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option and make a decision that’s best for your unique needs.

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