DEFINITION of 'Active Participant Status'

Active-participant status is a reference to an individual's participation in an employer sponsored retirement plan. The plans which qualify include:

1. Qualified plans, such as profit sharing plans, defined benefit plans, money purchase pension or target benefit plans and 401(k) plans
2. SEP IRAs
3. SIMPLE IRAs
4. 403(b) plans
5. Qualified annuity plans
6. Employee Funded Pension Trusts (created before June 25, 1959)
7. A plan established for its employees by the United States, by a State or political subdivision of the United States, or by an agency or instrumentality of the United States or any of its subdivisions

BREAKING DOWN 'Active Participant Status'

Typically, the employer will indicate on the individual's Form W-2 if the individual is an active participant by checking the 'Retirement Plan' box. Individuals should check with their employers to be sure.

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