Generally, only your employer can make contributions to your 403(b) account. However, some plans will allow you to make after-tax contributions (defined below).
The following types of contributions can be made to 403(b) accounts.
- Elective deferrals . These are contributions made under a salary reduction agreement. This agreement allows your employer to withhold money from your paycheck to be contributed directly into a 403(b) account for your benefit. Except for Roth contributions, you do not pay income tax on these contributions until you withdraw them from the account. If your contributions are Roth contributions, you pay taxes on your contributions but any qualified distributions from your Roth account are tax free.
- Nonelective contributions . These are employer contributions that are not made under a salary reduction agreement. Nonelective contributions include matching contributions, discretionary contributions, and mandatory contributions from your employer. You do not pay income tax on these contributions until you withdraw them from the account.
- After-tax contributions . These are contributions (that are not Roth contributions) you make with funds that you must include in income on your tax return. A salary payment on which income tax has been withheld is a source of these contributions. If your plan allows you to make after-tax contributions, they are not excluded from income and you cannot deduct them on your tax return.
- A combination of any of the three contribution types listed above.
If you are a self-employed minister, you are considered both an employee and an employer, and you can contribute to a retirement income account for your own benefit.