What Tax Rate for 401k Withdrawal


Pre-tax vs. Post-tax Contributions

When contributing to a 401(k), you have the option of making pre-tax or post-tax contributions. Pre-tax contributions are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are taken out, while post-tax contributions are made after taxes have been taken out.

The main difference between pre-tax and post-tax contributions is the tax treatment of withdrawals. Pre-tax contributions are taxed when you withdraw them, while post-tax contributions are not taxed when you withdraw them.

Here is a table that summarizes the tax treatment of pre-tax and post-tax contributions:

Contribution TypeTax Treatment of ContributionsTax Treatment of Withdrawals
Pre-taxDeducted from paycheck before taxes are taken outTaxed when withdrawn
Post-taxMade after taxes have been taken outNot taxed when withdrawn

The decision of whether to make pre-tax or post-tax contributions depends on your individual circumstances. If you are in a high tax bracket, you may want to make pre-tax contributions to reduce your current tax liability. If you are in a low tax bracket, you may want to make post-tax contributions to avoid paying taxes on withdrawals in the future.

Understanding Tax Rates for 401(k) Withdrawals

When you withdraw funds from your 401(k) account, the amount you’ll pay in taxes depends on several factors, including your age, whether you withdraw before or during retirement, and the income tax bracket you’re in.

Ordinary Income Taxation

Withdrawals from a 401(k) account are typically taxed as ordinary income, meaning they’re added to your other taxable income for the year. This can affect your overall tax bracket and the amount of taxes you owe.

Age and Withdrawal Timing

  • Before Age 59½: Withdrawals before age 59½ are subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty, in addition to ordinary income tax.
  • Age 59½ or Older: Withdrawals after age 59½ are generally not subject to the early withdrawal penalty but are still taxed as ordinary income.

Tax Brackets

The amount of税you’ll pay on your 401(k) withdrawal depends on your income tax bracket. The higher your income, the higher the tax rate you’ll pay.

Income Tax BracketTax Rate

For example, if you’re in the 22% tax bracket and withdraw $10,000 from your 401(k), you’ll pay $2,200 in taxes (22% x $10,000).

Additional Considerations

* Roth 401(k) Withdrawals: Qualified Roth 401(k) withdrawals are not subject to ordinary income tax. However, you may pay taxes on any earnings if you withdraw before age 59½.
* Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): Once you reach age 72, you’re required to start taking RMDs from your 401(k). These withdrawals are also taxed as ordinary income.
* Tax-Free Rollovers: You can roll over 401(k) funds to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another employer-sponsored retirement plan without paying taxes on the withdrawal.


Understanding the tax implications of 401(k) withdrawals is crucial to plan for retirement and avoid surprises. By considering your age, withdrawal timing, and tax bracket, you can estimate the tax you’ll owe and make informed decisions about your retirement savings.

Roth 401(k) Withdrawal Tax Treatment

Withdrawals from a Roth 401(k) account are generally tax-free, provided certain requirements are met. Unlike traditional 401(k) accounts, Roth 401(k) contributions are made on an after-tax basis. This means that you do not receive a tax deduction for the money you contribute.

As a result, when you withdraw money from a Roth 401(k), you will not have to pay any income tax on the amount you withdraw. This is because the money you contributed was already taxed when you earned it.

However, there are some exceptions to the tax-free withdrawal rule. For example, if you withdraw money from a Roth 401(k) before reaching age 59½, you may have to pay a 10% penalty on the amount of the withdrawal. Additionally, if you withdraw more than $10,000 from a Roth 401(k) in a year, you may have to pay income tax on the amount of the withdrawal that exceeds $10,000.

The following table summarizes the tax treatment of Roth 401(k) withdrawals:

Withdrawal AgeTax Treatment
Under 59½10% penalty plus income tax on earnings
59½ or olderTax-free

Tax Rate for 401(k) Withdrawal

When you withdraw money from your 401(k) account, you will be subject to income taxes on the amount withdrawn. The tax rate that applies will depend on your age and the type of withdrawal you make.

Age-Based Withdrawal Considerations

  • Under age 59½: If you withdraw money from your 401(k) account before you reach age 59½, you will be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty in addition to income taxes.
  • Age 59½ or older: If you withdraw money from your 401(k) account after you reach age 59½, you will not be subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty, but you will still be subject to income taxes on the amount withdrawn.

The following table shows the federal income tax rates that apply to 401(k) withdrawals for different income levels:

Income LevelTax Rate
Up to $10,27510%
$10,275 to $41,77512%
$41,775 to $89,07522%
$89,075 to $170,05024%
$170,050 to $215,95032%
$215,950 to $539,90035%
Over $539,90037%

It is important to note that state income taxes may also apply to 401(k) withdrawals. The state income tax rate will vary depending on the state in which you live.

Hey there, thanks for hanging out and learning about 401k withdrawal tax rates with me. I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any more questions about this or other financial topics, be sure to check out my other articles or come back and visit me later. I’m always happy to chat about money and help you make the most of your financial journey. Take care!