401(k) and IRA Contribution Limits for 2011

The IRS recently released retirement savings contribution limits for 2011. These caps cover 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), and traditional IRA retirement accounts. For the most part, the limits are unchanged from 2010, although there are some small inflation adjustments with respect to qualifying income limitations.

So here are the 2011 401k and IRA contribution limits:

Elective Deferral: The contribution limits for 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) retirement plans for 2011 remain unchanged at $16,500.

Catch-up Contribution Limit: For those aged 50 or better, the catch-up contribution limits also remain unchanged at $5,500.

Traditional IRA Deduction Limits: Taken directly from the IRS Release: “The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional IRA is phased out for singles and heads of household who are active participants in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and have modified adjusted gross incomes (AGI) between $56,000 and $66,000, unchanged from 2010.”

“For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the income phase-out range is $90,000 to $110,000, up from $89,000 to $109,000.”

“For an IRA contributor who is not an active participant in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and is married to someone who is an active participant, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $169,000 and $179,000, up from $167,000 and $177,000.”

Overall Contribution Limit on Defined Contribution Plans: Finally, the limitation for defined contribution plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) remains unchanged for 2011 at $49,000.

If you are looking to open an IRA account, check out our list of the best brokers for IRA accounts.

401(k) Contribution Limits

As announced by the IRS, the contribution limit on 401(k) retirement accounts goes up to $17,500. This is an increase of $500 from last year, and also applies to 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan. The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over remains unchanged at $5,500. Here are the 401(k) contributions over the last several years:

Tax YearRegular Contribution LimitCatch-up Contribution Limit for those 50 & older
2015$18,000$6,000
2014 $17,500$5,500
2013$17,500$5,500
2012$17,000$5,500
2011$16,500$5,500
2010$16,500$5,500
2009$16,500$5,500
2008$15,500$5,000
2007$15,500$5,000
2006$15,000$5,000
Published or Updated: April 4, 2013
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Jack Coble says:

    I am checking to see how much I can contribute.
    Make $185,000 per year, Plue retirement: approximately $70,000 per year, and wife makes approximately $72,000 per year.

    • DR says:

      Jack, I always hesitate to give specific advice, as I’m not a tax accountant. But you should be able to get the answer with a quick phone call to a tax specialist in your area. I’ve found that they will answer questions like this for free.

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