Individual retirement accounts are a smart way to save for the future. A traditional IRA can be opened and funded without any employer participation. Contributions and/or earnings are tax-deferred until retirement. Unlike many employer plans, money in the account is always accessible; however, until age 59 1/2 there is a 10% early distribution penalty unless you qualify for an exemption due to one of the following: disability, qualifying education expenses, unemployment, qualifying first-home purchases, death, or receipt of your IRA assets in equal payments over your life expectancy.
Members under age 70 1/2 may contribute to an IRA at a maximum of $5,000 per tax year.