Fully Funded 412(e)(3)

Need to Start Saving Sizeable Amounts Toward Retirement? You Can, Tax-Deferred!

Saving for retirement – as important as we all know it is – isn’t always easy. For most people there are bills to pay, children to educate, and businesses to manage – expensive undertakings that often relegate saving for retirement to the back burner. Unfortunately, by the time many people are finally in a position to start putting substantial money aside for retirement, federal tax law limits the amounts they are able to defer into 401(k) and other retirement savings plans.


If you are a small business owner, self-employed professional, independent contractor, or anyone who is in your peak earning years, you may be experiencing the frustration of finally having the money, but essentially being unable to save for the kind of retirement you want. A large chunk of your income must be paid in taxes and many tax-qualified retirement plans have an annual cap on the contributions they allow you to make. Or they are so complex they require you to have an enrolled actuary under contract to make sure you are in compliance with IRS regulations. As a result, you are not saving enough – right now while you can — to achieve your retirement goals. And that has to be a cause for worry.


There is a solution to this problem. Actually a very simple solution. It is called a “412(e)(3) Defined Benefit Plan.”


Section 412 of the Internal Revenue Code contains complex funding rules that apply to all defined benefit plans – except those that fall under subsection 412(e)(3). Those plans are funded solely by individual life insurance and annuity contracts (or only annuity contracts), and the amount you pay into the plan each year is the amount of contribution that will guarantee** the plan benefits. As a result, your annual premium, or plan contribution, can be much more than the ~$50,000 cap imposed by defined contribution plans.


Just look at some of the benefits offered by 412(e)(3) plans:

  • You can set aside substantial amounts of money. There is no defined cap. Your contribution is based on your age, your salary and your years to retirement.
  • All your contributions to the plan are generally tax-deductible.
  • All the plan benefits are completely guaranteed.**
  • Your earnings will accumulate in the plan on a tax-deferred basis.
  • Plan assets may be protected from lawsuits, creditors, and other risks.


Because of its unique design, you can’t over-fund or under-fund a 412(e)(3) plan. And because the plan is IRS-approved, you won’t need an enrolled actuary’s certification each year, potentially lowering plan administration costs. There is, however, a basic requirement that you need to be aware of:

· 412(e)(3) plans must be funded exclusively through fixed insurance and/or annuity contracts in order for all benefits to be guaranteed.


412(e)(3) plans work best for high net worth individuals, businesses that are established and highly profitable, businesses with fewer than five employees, and businesses with owners who are at least 50 years old, within twelve to fifteen years of retirement and older than the firm’s other employees.


The bottom line: if you’re one of the growing number of people who, for whatever reason, need to start saving a large amount of money for retirement in as short a time as possible; if you’re a business owner looking for a unique way to reward yourself and your employees; and if you’re looking for substantial relief from income taxes; you owe it to yourself to find out more about 412(e)(3).


* Early withdrawals may be subject to a deferred sales charge and if taken prior to age 59 1/2 , a 10% federal penalty may apply. Money distributed from the 412(e)3 defined benefit plan will be taxed as ordinary income in the year the money is received.

**Guarantees are made available through the use of annuity and life insurance contracts and are dependent upon the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.

This information is not intended as tax advice. Please consult with your accountant prior to acting on any of the information in this correspondence.

The views and information contained herein have been prepared independently of the presenting Representative and are presented for information purposes only.