A contributory IRA, or individual contributory retirement account, is another name for a traditional IRA. Technically, it's an investment account designed specifically for retirement. One of the most common types of retirement accounts, mainly because of the attractive tax benefits it offers. The term “contributory IRA” does not appear in the Code or in any regulation.
Its origins are most likely due to a distinction in the code between a conduit IRA (also called an “accumulated IRA” by some custodians and administrators of an IRA) and an IRA containing funds provided directly by the account holder. Funds from an accumulated IRA, a commonly used term that does not appear in the Code or regulations, could be returned to a qualified plan. And before 1993, funds distributed by an IRA containing the contributions of account holders could not be transferred to a qualified plan.