Plan Limits

Each year the U.S. government adjusts the limits for qualified plans and Social Security to reflect cost-of-living adjustments and changes in the law. Many of these limits are based on the “plan year” as defined in your plan’s document. The elective deferral and catch-up limits are always based on the calendar year.

2018 2017 2015-2016*
Compensation $ 275,000 $ 270,000 $ 265,000
Limits on Benefits and Contributions:
Defined contribution plans $ 55,000 $ 54,000 $ 53,000
Defined benefit plans $ 220,000 $ 215,000 $ 210,000
401(k), 403(b) and 457 plan elective deferrals $ 18,500 $ 18,000 $ 18,000
SIMPLE plan elective deferrals $ 12,500 $ 12,500 $ 12,500
IRA $ 5,500 $ 5,500 $ 5,500
Catch-up contributions:
401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans $ 6,000 $ 6,000 $ 6,000
SIMPLE plans $ 3,000 $ 3,000 $ 3,000
IRA $ 1,000 $ 1,000 $ 1,000
“Highly Compensated” Definition $ 120,000 $ 120,000 $ 120,000
“Key Employee” Definition
Officer $ 175,000 $ 175,000 $ 170,000
1% Owner $ 150,000 $ 150,000 $ 150,000
Social Security taxable wage base $ 128,700 $ 127,200 $ 118,500

*The 2015 limits remained unchanged for 2016 because the increase in the cost-of-living index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger an adjustment to the limits.