Not-for-profit organizations, such as schools and hospitals, generally offer 403(b) plans rather than 401(k) plans to their employees. Both plans allow participants to save dollars direct from their paychecks into retirement accounts and both defer taxes on any investment gains. That's where the similarities end.
403(b) plans can differ significantly from the better-known 401(k) plans, and not in good ways. For instance, employers offering a 403(b) plan rarely match their employees' contributions, which is a common practice among 401(k) plans. Employers offering 403(b) plans aren't responsible for running the plans, either.
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