Although Roth 401(k) features became effective Jan. 1, 2006, few employers immediately implemented them, since they were new and recordkeepers were still developing systems to accommodate the new feature.

While Roths are beginning to gain traction, the presidential election may affect their growing popularity, as the new president - whomever he may be - likely will increase tax rates on individuals earning more than $250,000. With the tax increase, many senior executives no longer will see the benefit of contributing to a Roth 401(k) and will revert to traditional pretax 401(k) contributions to save current income taxes.

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