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401k Contribution Limits Increased for 2024

401k Contribution Limits Increased for 2024

The year 2024 brings good news for retirement savers. The 401k contribution limits are set to increase, allowing individuals to save even more towards their golden years. These changes aim to address the growing need for higher retirement savings due to increased life expectancy and rising living costs.

Starting in 2024, individuals under the age of 50 will be able to contribute up to $23,000 annually to their 401(k) accounts, a significant increase from the previous limit. For those aged 50 and older, a catch-up contribution of $7,500 is available, bringing their total potential contribution to $30,500. This higher maximum contribution allows individuals to accelerate their retirement savings and take advantage of potential tax benefits.

What are 401(k) Contribution Limits?

Saving for retirement is a crucial aspect of financial planning. Understanding the contribution limits associated with a 401(k) plan is vital to make the most of this retirement savings tool. By knowing the dollar amounts and annual limits for employee and employer contributions, as well as the availability of catch-up contributions, individuals can strategically plan their savings to maximize their retirement nest egg.

401k contribution limits refer to the maximum amount of money an individual can contribute to their 401(k) plan in a given year. These limits are set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are designed to regulate retirement savings and tax advantages.

Annual 401k Contribution Limits

The 2024 annual contribution limit for 401(k) plans has been set at $23,000. This limit applies to both traditional and Roth employee contributions. It’s important to note that this amount is subject to change based on the IRS guidelines. To maximize your retirement savings, it’s advisable to contribute as close to this limit as possible.

Roth Employee Contributions

Roth contributions are becoming increasingly popular among employees. These contributions are made on an after-tax basis, meaning you don’t get an immediate tax deduction. However, qualified distributions from Roth accounts are tax-free, including both contributions and investment earnings. In 2024, the maximum amount you can contribute to your Roth 401(k) is also $23,000.

Employer Contributions

Employers often provide matching contributions to encourage employee participation in 401(k) plans. The limit for employer contributions in 2024 is 25% of an employee’s eligible compensation.. It’s important to understand your employer’s matching policy and take full advantage of this benefit.

Catch-Up Contributions

For individuals aged 50 and above, catch-up contributions are available to boost their retirement savings. In 2024, the catch-up contribution limit remains at $7,500. This means that individuals who meet the age requirement can contribute up to $30,500 in total ($23,000 annual limit + $7,500 catch-up contribution).

Excess Contributions

It’s important to stay within the contribution limits to avoid any potential penalties. If you exceed the annual contribution limits, you may need to withdraw the excess amount and pay taxes on the earnings. To prevent this situation, carefully monitor your contributions throughout the year and make adjustments if necessary to stay within the limits.

2024 Deferral limits for a SIMPLE 401(k) plan

Understanding SIMPLE 401(k) Plans

A SIMPLE 401(k) plan is designed to offer a retirement savings option for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. It combines the benefits of a traditional 401(k) plan with simplified administrative requirements. Contributions to a SIMPLE 401(k) plan consist of elective deferrals from employees and employer matching or non-elective contributions.

Employee Deferral Limits

For the year 2024, the IRS has set the deferral limit for employees participating in a SIMPLE 401(k) plan at $16,000. This means that employees can contribute up to $16,000 of their eligible compensation on a pre-tax basis, an increase of $500 from 2023. It’s important to note that this limit is subject to annual adjustments, so staying updated on the latest figures is crucial.

Catch-up Contributions

Individuals aged 50 or older have the opportunity to make additional catch-up contributions to their SIMPLE 401(k) plans. The catch-up contribution limit for 2024 has no change from 2023 and is set at $3,500, allowing eligible individuals to contribute a total of $19,500. Catch-up contributions can help individuals close the retirement savings gap and boost their overall nest egg.

Employer Contributions

In addition to employee deferrals, employers are required to make contributions to their employees’ SIMPLE 401(k) accounts. There are two options for employer contributions: a dollar-for-dollar match of employee contributions up to 3% of their compensation or a non-elective contribution of 2% of each eligible employee’s compensation. It’s important for employers to understand and fulfill their contribution obligations to comply with IRS regulations.

Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits for 2024

Maybe you have established an IRA because your employer does not offer a 401(k) retirement plan, or you have decided not to participate, or perhaps you are self-employed. Regardless, the good news is that the IRA contribution limits have also been increased for 2024 from 2023 by $500 across both Traditional and Roth IRAs. That may not sound like much, but from a percentage perspective, it represents approximately a 7.5% increase for individuals under 50.

For individuals under the age of 50, the new maximum contribution limit in 2024 for a Traditional IRA and Roth IRA will be $7,000, up from $6,500 in 2023. For those aged 50 and above, the limit has been increased to $8,000

The income phase out limitations were also adjusted to combat inflation, as detailed in IRS Notice 2023-75.

Again, it is important to remember whereas traditional IRA’s offer immediate tax savings, Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax income, so they do not provide immediate tax deductions, but will offer tax-free withdrawals during retirement.

Comparing 2024 and 2023 Limits

The IRS adjusts retirement plan contribution limits annually for inflation. Here are the key takeaways the comparison from 2023 to 2024 shown below:

  • A slowdown in inflation resulted in a smaller increase in the 2024 limits than in the 2023 limits.
  • In terms of percentage increases, the IRA contribution limit showed the largest increase.
  • There was no adjustment to the catch-up contribution limits this year.

2024 401(k) and IRA Contribution Limit Changes, Compared to 2023

401k Contribution Limits 2023 2024 Change
Employee $22,500 $23,000 $500
Employee and Employer $66,000 $69,000 $3,000
Catch-up contributions* $7,500 $7,500 No Change
IRA and Roth IRA Contributions
Under 50 years old $6,500 $7,000 $500
50 and Over $7,500 $8,000 $500

* (allowed for individuals 50 years and older)

Related Reading: 2024 Tax Brackets, Rates, and Standard Deductions

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