A 401(a) plan is a type of employer-sponsored retirement savings plan governed by Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is typically offered by government employers, including federal, state, and local governments, as well as certain non-profit organizations. Here’s an overview of what a 401(a) plan is, contribution limits, and withdrawal rules:

### 1. **What is a 401(a) Plan:**

– **Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan:**
– A 401(a) plan is a tax-advantaged retirement savings plan provided by employers. It allows employees to make contributions to their individual accounts, and in many cases, employers also contribute to the plan on behalf of employees.

– **Government and Non-Profit Employers:**
– 401(a) plans are commonly offered by government entities and certain non-profit organizations. These plans may have different features compared to 401(k) plans offered by private employers.

– **Employer Contributions:**
– In addition to employee contributions, employers may contribute to the plan on behalf of employees. Employer contributions are typically based on a formula specified in the plan, such as a percentage of the employee’s salary.

### 2. **Contribution Limits:**

– **Employee Contributions:**
– The contribution limits for employee contributions to a 401(a) plan are set by the employer and outlined in the plan documents. These limits may vary, but they are generally lower than the limits for 401(k) plans.

– **Employer Contributions:**
– Employers determine the contribution formula for their 401(a) plans. The total contribution, including both employee and employer contributions, must comply with overall limits established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

– **IRS Annual Limits:**
– The IRS sets annual limits on the total contributions to a participant’s account, which includes both employee and employer contributions. These limits are subject to change and should be reviewed regularly.

### 3. **Withdrawal Rules:**

– **Distribution Age:**
– Participants in a 401(a) plan can generally start taking withdrawals without penalties once they reach the plan’s specified age for distributions. The age may vary but is often around 59½.

– **Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs):**
– Similar to 401(k) plans, participants are required to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) from their 401(a) plans once they reach a certain age, usually starting at age 72 (or 70½ for those who reached 70½ before January 1, 2020).

– **Early Withdrawals:**
– Early withdrawals before the age of 59½ may be subject to a 10% penalty unless an exception applies. However, certain government employees may have access to penalty-free withdrawals upon separation from service.

– **Loan Options:**
– Some 401(a) plans may allow participants to take loans from their accounts, allowing them to borrow a portion of their vested account balance. Loan terms and conditions are specified in the plan documents.

– **Rollovers:**
– Participants may have the option to roll over their 401(a) account balances into another eligible retirement plan if they change jobs or retire.

It’s important for participants in a 401(a) plan to carefully review the plan documents provided by their employer and consult with the plan administrator or a financial advisor for specific details about their plan’s features, contribution limits, and withdrawal rules. The rules and features can vary among different employers and plan designs.