The number of defined contribution plans (including 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b) plans) with a Roth feature has grown significantly in recent years. Roth 401(k) is gaining popularity due in part to tax hedging or tax diversification strategies. Since the federal and state tax rates that apply at retirement are unknown, a participant can hedge future tax exposure by making at least some portion of his or her retirement savings as Roth 401(k) contributions. Other participants want greater retirement security with a large portion of their retirement savings not subject to income taxes. Some high net worth participants want to pass tax-free investments to their beneficiaries.
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