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Publication 590-A

How Can a Traditional IRA
Be Opened?(p7)

You can open different kinds of IRAs with a variety of organizations. You can open an IRA at a bank or other financial institution or with a mutual fund or life insurance company. You can also open an IRA through your stockbroker. Any IRA must meet Internal Revenue Code requirements. The requirements for the various arrangements are discussed below.

Kinds of traditional IRAs.(p8)

Your traditional IRA can be an individual retirement account or annuity. It can be part of either a simplified employee pension (SEP) or an employer or employee association trust account.

Individual Retirement Account(p8)

An individual retirement account is a trust or custodial account set up in the United States for the exclusive benefit of you or your beneficiaries. The account is created by a written document. The document must show that the account meets all of the following requirements.

Individual Retirement Annuity(p8)

You can open an individual retirement annuity by purchasing an annuity contract or an endowment contract from a life insurance company.
An individual retirement annuity must be issued in your name as the owner, and either you or your beneficiaries who survive you are the only ones who can receive the benefits or payments.
An individual retirement annuity must meet all the following requirements.

Individual Retirement Bonds(p8)

The sale of individual retirement bonds issued by the federal government was suspended after April 30, 1982. The bonds have the following features. If you cash (redeem) the bonds before the year in which you reach age 591/2, you may be subject to a 10% additional tax. See Publication 590-B for more information about Age 591/2 Rule for Early Distributions and other distribution rules. You can roll over redemption proceeds into IRAs.


A SIMPLE IRA plan is a tax-favored retirement plan that certain small employers (including self-employed employees) can set up for the benefit of their employees. Your participation in your employer's SIMPLE IRA plan does not prevent you from making contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA. See Publication 560 for more information about SIMPLE IRAs.

Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)(p8)

A simplified employee pension (SEP) is a written arrangement that allows your employer to make deductible contributions to a traditional IRA (a SEP IRA) set up for you to receive such contributions. Generally, distributions from SEP IRAs are subject to the withdrawal and tax rules that apply to traditional IRAs. See Publication 560 for more information about SEPs.

Employer and Employee
Association Trust Accounts(p8)

Your employer or your labor union or other employee association can set up a trust to provide individual retirement accounts for employees or members. The requirements for individual retirement accounts apply to these traditional IRAs.

Required Disclosures(p9)

The trustee or issuer (sometimes called the sponsor) of your traditional IRA generally must give you a disclosure statement at least 7 days before you open your IRA. However, the sponsor does not have to give you the statement until the date you open (or purchase, if earlier) your IRA, provided you are given at least 7 days from that date to revoke the IRA.
The disclosure statement must explain certain items in plain language. For example, the statement should explain when and how you can revoke the IRA, and include the name, address, and telephone number of the person to receive the notice of cancellation. This explanation must appear at the beginning of the disclosure statement.
If you revoke your IRA within the revocation period, the sponsor must return to you the entire amount you paid. The sponsor must report on the appropriate IRS forms both your contribution to the IRA (unless it was made by a trustee-to-trustee transfer) and the amount returned to you. These requirements apply to all sponsors.