Why save with an IRA?

DATE | 02/26/24
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You'll likely need more than your WRS pension and Social Security in retirement.

Many Wisconsin public school employees use personal savings from a 403(b) to supplement what they plan to receive from the Wisconsin Retirement System when they retire. Why? Because most people will need more than Social Security and their pension in retirement. Adding an IRA to your personal savings portfolio adds flexibility and may help you better meet your retirement goals.

Types of IRAs

Traditional IRA contributions may be tax deductible and the earnings are tax-deferred while accumulating in the account; however, contributions and earnings are taxable when distributed.1

Roth contributions are after-tax, which means you pay taxes now on your contributions, but all qualified withdrawals, including earnings, are tax-free.2

If you think your tax rates will go down in the future, a traditional IRA might make sense. The Roth may be a better choice if you think your tax rate will go up in the future, especially if you are early in your career. And regardless of tax rate changes, you’ll still enjoy a 0% tax rate on qualified withdrawals from a Roth IRA.

Why invest in an IRA?

If you have an employer match in your 403(b), you should contribute enough to receive the maximum employer match. Once you’re hitting the match, you may want to diversify with an IRA, which may offer additional fund options.

If your employer doesn’t offer a Roth 403(b), a Roth IRA can help you plan for a mix of pre- and post-tax dollars in retirement.

In 2024, you can save up to $7,000 in total annual contributions ($8,000 for age 50 and over). However, you can contribute a smaller amount of your choosing. Automating your contributions makes it easy to contribute.

Why save with Member Benefits?

  • Our buying power provides access to lower cost share classes.
  • We do not charge additional fees for every contribution, for a trade, etc., and we don’t have commissions or investment management fees.
  • Choose from advisor-managed portfolios, target retirement funds, or hands-on investing strategies for no additional cost.
  • You can rollover a 401(k) or other retirement account into an IRA.
  • Your family can participate if they live in Wisconsin or several other qualifying states. Ask us about requirements.3

Open an IRA account

One low annual administrative fee (0.45%) up to an annual fee cap4 ($600 for WEAC members or $750 for non-members).

1 Consult with a tax advisor to determine the extent of your ability to deduct your contributions.
2 For qualified Roth IRA withdrawals, the participant must be age 59½ or older and have held the Roth IRA account for at least five tax years.
3 To be eligible for this program, you must meet the IRS eligibility requirements for contributing to an IRA. Restrictions may apply. Certain state residency required. Visit for details.
4 An annual minimum account cost of $25 applies to all accounts. The minimum is waived for all accounts with active contributions. Mutual fund management and redemption fees may apply.