Historical Contribution & Testing Limits

 

Limit Pro-Rate for Short Year* 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Annual Compensation  Yes $280,000  $275,000 $270,000 $265,000 $265,000  $260,000  $255,000 $250,000 $245,000  $245,000
Minimum Compensation: SEP  No  $600 $600 $600 $600 $600  $550   $550 $550  $550 $550
Elective Deferrals: 401(k)  No $19,000  $18,500 $18,000 $18,000  $18,000 $17,500  $17,500 $17,000  $16,500  $16,500
Elective Deferrals: SIMPLE No  $13,000 $12,500 $12,500 $12,500 $12,500  $12,000  $12,000 $11,500  $11,500 $11,500
Elective Deferrals: 457  No $19,000  $18,500 $18,000 $18,000 $18,000  $17,500  $17,500 $17,000 $16,500  $16,500
Catch-Up Contributions: 401(k)  No $6,000  $6,000 $6,000 $6,000  $6,000 $5,500  $5,500  $5,500 $5,500  $5,500
Catch-Up Contributions: SIMPLE  No $3,000  $3,000 $3,000 $3,000  $2,500 $3,000 $2,500  $2,500  $2,500 $2,500
415 Limit: Defined Benefit Plans  Yes  $225,000 $220,000 $215,000 $210,000 $210,000  $210,000 $205,000  $200,000 $195,000  $195,000
415 Limit: Defined Contribution Plans  Yes $56,000  $55,000 $54,000 $53,000  $53,000 $52,000   $51,000 $50,000  $49,000 $49,000
Social Security Wage Base Yes  $132,900  $128,400 $127,200 $118,500 $118,000  $117,000 $113,700 $110,100 $106,800 $106,800 

Testing Limits

Limit Pro-Rate for Short Year* 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
HCE Determination: Compensation No   $125,000 $120,000  $120,000 $120,000  $120,000 $115,000 $115,000  $115,000 $110,000  $110,000
Key Employee: Officer Compensation No  $180,000  $175,000  $170,000 $170,000 $170,000  $170,000 $165,000 $165,000 $155,000 $155,000
Key Employee: 1% Owner Compensation

No 

$150,000   $150,000 $150,000 $150,000  $150,000 $150,000 $150,000 $150,000 $150,000 $150,000

*For a plan year that is less than 12 months (either due to initially establishing the plan after the first of the year or terminating a plan before the end of the year), these limits must be pro-rated based on the number of months in the short plan year. For example, a plan year that runs from January 1st through September 30th would multiply the applicable limit by 9/12.

Information Regarding Non-Calendar Year Plans

Just like a company, a retirement plan is required to operate on a set 12-month period. This is often referred to as the tax year or fiscal year for a business and a plan year for a retirement plan. Also similar to many companies, many retirement plans elect to use the calendar year as that 12-month period. But just because most businesses/plans operate that way does not mean that all of them must. 

While some business owners and accountants prefer to have the retirement plan operate on the same year as the business, there is no legal requirement that the two align. And, as we will describe in the linked article below, there are several compliance reasons why it might make sense to have the plan year line- up with the calendar year even if the company's fiscal year is different. Read more.

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of any other person or organization. All content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be tax or legal advice.