Plan Participant


DEFINITION of 'Plan Participant'

A plan participant either contributes into a pension plan or is in a position to receive benefit payments from the plan. It includes a retired person receiving distributions from a pension plan, or a beneficiary or dependent named by a contributing member.

BREAKING DOWN 'Plan Participant'

A plan participant has the right to receive benefit payments from a pension plan, whether it is a defined benefit or a defined contribution pension plan, as long as the requirements under the plan's contract has been fulfilled. Under most defined benefit pension plans, the member is required to complete a minimum number of years or service in order to qualify for their maximum pension allowable.

The tax law definition of an "active participant" to a company plan could include employees not participating in the employer's plan.

  1. Wasting Trust

    A trust that holds plan assets when a qualified plan is frozen. ...
  2. Cash Balance Pension Plan

    A pension plan under which an employer credits a participant's ...
  3. Defined-Contribution Plan

    A retirement plan in which a certain amount or percentage of ...
  4. Pension Plan

    A type of retirement plan, usually tax exempt, wherein an employer ...
  5. Individual Retirement Account - ...

    An investing tool used by individuals to earn and earmark funds ...
  6. Defined-Benefit Plan

    An employer-sponsored retirement plan where employee benefits ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    New Retirement Plan Limits For 2011

    New changes to the law can have a huge impact on your nest egg.
  2. Retirement

    Top 3 Retirement Savings Tips For 55- To 64-Year-Olds

    Find ways to save money and increase your nest egg for the fast-approaching golden years.
  3. Retirement

    Journey Through The 6 Stages Of Retirement

    Financial planning is important, but emotional planning is the key to retiree bliss.
  4. Options & Futures

    Retirement Planning Basics

    Realizing your post-work goals need not be daunting. We'll tell you everything you need to know to get - and stay - on track.
  5. Taxes

    Learn about eligibility requirements, contributions and distribution rules for these retirement plans.
  6. Retirement

    How Are 401(k) Withdrawals Taxed for Nonresidents?

    As a U.S. nonresident, deciding what to do with your 401(k) after you return home comes down to which tax penalties, if any, you're willing to incur.
  7. Retirement

    Why Are Annuities Important for Retirement?

    Understand how annuities work, and identify the benefits they provide for retirement, the most salient being a guaranteed income stream for life.
  8. Professionals

    This Group is the Most Underprepared to Retire

    More than any other demographic, this group is woefully underprepared for retirement. Here's what they can do to change that.
  9. Professionals

    Why Near-Retirees Shouldn't Sweat the Volatility

    With the stock market bumpy, some folks nearing retirement might be nervous. Here's how to create some wiggle room for your portfolio.
  10. Professionals

    Is Delaying Social Security Until 70 a Good Idea?

    Soon to be retirees are often told it's best to wait until age 70 to collect Social Security. Here's why this is not always the best advice.
  1. How does a Roth IRA grow over time?

    Your Roth IRA account grows over time thanks to two funding sources: contributions and earnings. While your contributions ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can my 401(k) be seized or garnished?

    As long as your retirement funds are held in your 401(k) and you do not take them as distributions, your 401(k) cannot be ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can my IRA be taken in a lawsuit?

    Whether your IRA can be taken in a lawsuit depends largely on your state of residence and the judgment in question. There ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are mutual funds considered retirement accounts?

    Unlike a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), mutual funds are not classified as retirement accounts. Employers ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can my IRA be garnished for child support?

    Though some states protect IRA savings from garnishment of any kind, most states lift this exemption in cases where the account ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can I use my IRA savings to start my own savings?

    While there is no legal reason why you cannot withdraw funds from your IRA to start a traditional savings account, it is ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  3. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  4. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  5. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  6. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!