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Calculator: How 401(k) Contributions Affect Your Paycheck

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Are you saving enough for retirement? If you have a 401(k) at work, that’s a great start. Increasing your 401(k) contributions today may greatly improve your retirement outlook. Use our 401(k) contribution calculator below to see how that extra money could affect your paycheck and your future.

Tax-deferred contributions and earnings. With a traditional 401(k), you won’t pay taxes on contributions or earnings until you withdraw the money.

Employer match. Many employers match contributions to your account up to a maximum amount. For instance, if you deposit 4% of your salary into your 401(k), your employer may add the same amount to your account. If you don't contribute at least the match amount, you could miss out on this additional money.

This calculator shows how increasing your 401(k) contributions would affect your paycheck. It also shows how much your retirement savings may grow with that increase. You may be surprised at how making changes today may have a big effect on your future.

To get started, you’ll need your most recent pay statement. It shows how much you’re getting paid and how much you’re contributing now, as well as other deduction information.

Once you fill in all the fields on the calculator, the bar graph will show you how much less you’d be taking home each paycheck if you increase your contribution and how much more you could have for retirement. Try entering different percentages until you land on a figure you can live with for both today’s and tomorrow’s needs. Your ability to save may fluctuate in different stages of your career, so revisit this calculator periodically.

This calculator uses the latest withholding schedules, rules and rates (IRS Publication 15).

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Investment return and principal value of security investments will fluctuate. The value at the time of redemption may be more or less than the original cost. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

You could lose money by investing in a mutual fund, even if through your employer's plan or an IRA. An investment in a mutual fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency.

IRA investment earnings are not taxed. Depending on the type of IRA and certain other factors, these earnings, as well as the original contributions, may be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate upon withdrawal. A 10% penalty may be imposed for early withdrawal before age 59½.

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