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IRA Comparison Chart

Eligibility
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
  • You must have earned income and be under age 70 ½ in the year the contribution is made.
  • A non-working spouse is also eligible to contribute up to $5,500 in 2013.
  • No age limit, you must have a modified adjusted gross income (AGI) below $127,000 if single or $188,000 if married and filing jointly.
  • The maximum contribution limit is phased out for those individuals with AGI between $112,000 and $127,000 (single) and $178,000 and $188,000 (joint).
  • A non-working spouse is also eligible to contribute up to $5,500 in 2013.
Maximum contribution
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
2013: $5,500 annually
2013: $5,500 annually
Catch up contribution
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
If you are age 50 or older in the year of the contribution, eligible IRA holders can make an additional contribution of $1,000.
If you are age 50 or older in the year of the contribution, eligible IRA holders can make an additional contribution of $1,000.
Tax-deferred growth
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
  • Investment growth is tax-deferred.
  • Contributions are possibly tax deductible.
  • Taxes are not paid on deductible contributions and all earnings until money is withdrawn.
Investment growth is tax-deferred and earnings can be withdrawn tax-free if if the account has been open for at least five years and if certain requirements are met.
Contribution tax deductibility
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
  • If neither you nor your spouse is an active participant in an employer-sponsored plan, your entire contribution is tax deductible.
  • If you are an active participant in an employer-sponsored plan, and (subject to certain phaseout provisions) your AGI in 2013 does not exceed $69,000 (single) or $115,000 (joint).
Contributions are not tax deductible.
Required distribution
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
Distributions must begin by April 1 of the calendar year following the year you reach 70 ½ and continue each year by December 31.
There is no required date for beginning distributions.
Taxable amounts withdrawn prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to an additional 10% penalty tax.
Premature withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes plus a 10% federal tax penalty.
Qualified early withdrawals
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
  • Circumstances in which withdrawals can be made penalty free prior to age 59 ½ include:
    • IRA owner's death or disability
    • timely removal of excess contributions
    • substantially equal periodic payments made over life expectancy
    • purchase of health insurance while unemployed
    • the purchase of a first home (up to $10,000)
    • for certain higher educational expenses
  • Taxes apply to all earnings and all deductible contributions withdrawn.
  • Withdrawals are tax free if the account is open for at least five years and:
    • the withdrawals are made after attaining age 59½
    • your death or disability
    • to purchase a first time home (up to $10,000)
  • Distributions that are not qualified distributions are included in income to the extent attributable to earnings.
  • A 10% penalty tax will apply to the taxable portion of the non-qualified distribution unless an exception applies.
Rollovers and transfers
Traditional IRA
Roth IRA
  • When a Traditional IRA is converted to a Roth IRA, taxes must be paid on deductible contributions and all earnings.
  • Transfers to and from other Traditional IRAs are permitted.
  • When a Traditional IRA is converted to a Roth IRA, taxes must be paid on deductible contributions and all earnings.
  • Transfers to and from other Roth IRAs are permitted.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the fund carefully before investing. Download a prospectus, or summary prospectus, if available, that contains this and other information about the fund, and read it carefully before investing. Dreyfus does not provide legal or tax advice. The information contained herein is general in nature and not intended to constitute tax advice. Since 2006, certain retirement plans have been permitted to allow participants to designate some or all of their deferral contributions as "Roth deferral contributions." Roth contributions may only be rolled over to a Roth IRA.