Spousal IRA

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DEFINITION of 'Spousal IRA'

A type of individual retirement account that allows a working spouse to contribute to a nonworking spouse's retirement savings. A spousal IRA creates an exception to the provision that an individual must have earned income to contribute to an IRA. The working spouse's income, however, must equal or exceed the total IRA contributions made on behalf of both spouses.

BREAKING DOWN 'Spousal IRA'

To qualify to make spousal IRA contributions, the couple also must file a joint tax return. Spousal IRAs can be either traditional or Roth IRAs, and are subject to the same annual contribution limits, income limits and catch-up contribution provisions as traditional and Roth IRAs. While IRAs cannot be held jointly in both spouse's names, spouses can share their account distributions in retirement.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the contribution limits for a Spousal IRA?

    The contribution limits for spousal IRAs change over time; for 2014, the limit for all IRAs was the lesser of $5,500 (or ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do I roll over a spousal IRA?

    “Rollover,” in regard to finances, generally means “transfer.” To roll over a spousal IRA, the assumption is that the spouse ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. My spouse has little/no income. Can I contribute to my spouse's IRA?

    Yes. You may make a Traditional IRA contribution to your spouse's Traditional IRA because you have eligible compensation. 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 >>

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