When Did Roth IRAs Start?

The Roth IRA was introduced in 1997 with the passage of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. It is named for Senator William Roth, the chief sponsor of the bill.

A Roth IRA is a special kind of retirement account to which people can contribute after-tax dollars. The money grows tax free, and distributions are tax free upon retirement as long as they are withdrawn after age 59 1/2. Anyone with earned income from employment can contribute to a Roth IRA as long as that person's earnings do not exceed specified limits. Roth IRAs can be invested in vehicles like stocks, mutual funds, bonds, CDs or real estate.