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Retirement Plan Custodians

Retirement Plan Custodians Make Sure Your Money Stays Where You Put It

By David Fisher

(LifeWire) - A retirement plan custodian is a financial firm that is engaged to ensure that your retirement funds are kept separate from -- and are protected from -- your employer and your employer's creditors. Custodians also handle any necessary paperwork and tax reporting that your retirement plan generates.

A custodian is required for most qualified retirement accounts. These include employer-sponsored plans, such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, SIMPLE IRAs and SEP IRAs; and personal accounts, such as traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

The custodian does not set the rules -- those are governed by the Internal Revenue Service and the account-creator's choices. The custodian simply ensures that they are followed.

LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. David Fisher is a freelance writer based in Bend, Ore. In addition to 25 years as a writer and editor, he has worked as a professional financial adviser.

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