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A type of retirement plan under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code that permits employees of public educational organizations or tax-exempt organizations to make before-tax contributions via a salary reduction agreement to a tax-sheltered retirement plan. Employers are also allowed to make direct contributions on behalf of employees.
A retirement plan in which an employee makes tax-deferred contributions from his/her pre-tax income. The employee is not taxed on the contribution until he/she begins to make withdrawals after retirement. Strictly speaking, a 401(k) is a tax-deferred annuity, but the term especially applies to a 403(b) plan, which is directed at teachers and employees of tax-exempt organizations, such as charities or churches.
tax-sheltered annuity (TSA)
A retirement plan that permits an employee of a tax-exempt charitable, educational, or religious institution to contribute a certain portion of wages or salary into a tax-sheltered fund. Contributions serve to reduce taxable income in the year they are contributed. Taxes on income earned in the plan are deferred. Both past contributions and income are fully taxable when withdrawals are made. Also called 403(b) plan, tax-deferred annuity.