A Traditional IRA primarily is a tax-deferred retirement savings vehicle. Tax is generally deferred on Traditional IRA contributions and earnings until the year the IRA owner takes a distribution. A traditional IRA is essentially any IRA that is not a Roth IRA or a SIMPLE IRA. In general, if you have income from working for yourself or someone else, you may establish and contribute to an IRA. The IRA can be a special account that you can set up with a bank, brokerage firm, or other institutional custodian. Alternatively, it can be an individual retirement annuity that you that you can purchase from an insurance company.