8 Key Financial Numbers for 2015

8 Key Financial Numbers for 2015As is the case each year, important numbers – related to income taxes, retirement, gifts and Social Security – are adjusted to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or in regard to changes in the law. The folks at T. Rowe Price put out a cheat sheet on all of these number, and they were kind enough to send it to me. Here are 8 key financial numbers for 2015.

It’s important to understand that these numbers apply in the year going forward. They do not apply to 2014, which is the year for which we are currently filing our income taxes. You’ll find links in this article to the 2014 numbers if you need them.

Retirement Plan Contributions Limit

Retirement plan contribution limits have been increased by $500 over 2014, except in regard to IRA contributions, both traditional and Roth. They’re unchanged from last year.

PlanUnder Age 50Age 50 and Over
401(k), 403(b), SAR-SEP, 457(b), TSP1$18,000 ($17,500 for 2014)$24,000 ($23,000 for 2014)
Traditional and Roth IRAs$5,500 (unchanged from 2014)$6,500 (unchanged from 2014)
SIMPLE IRA and SIMPLE 401(k)$12,500 ($12,000 for 2014)$15,500 ($14,500 for 2014)

Income Limits for Roth Contributions

The Roth IRA contributions income limits for both singles and married filing jointly has been increased by $2,000 across the board over 2014.

ActionMarital StatusEligibility
To contribute to a Roth IRASinglePhased out: $116,000–$131,000
($114,000–$129,000 for 2014)
To contribute to a Roth IRAMarried filing jointlyPhased out: $183,000–$193,000
($181,000–$191,000 for 2014)

Income Limits for Traditional IRA Deductibility

Traditional IRA contribution income limits for singles has increased by $1,000 from 2014. For married filing jointly, it’s up $2,000 over last year. Remember, these income limits apply only if either you or your spouse are covered by an employer sponsored plan. If neither of you are, then there are no income limits.

Marital StatusDeductibility
Single - Not eligible to participate in an employer retirement planFull
Single- Participating in an employer retirement planPhased out: $61,000–$71,000 ($60,000–$70,000 for 2014)
Married Filing Jointly - Neither you nor your spouse is eligible to participate in an employer
retirement plan
Married Filing Jointly - You are not eligible to participate in an employer retirement plan, but your spouse isPhased out: $183,000–$193,000 ($181,000–$191,000 for 2014)
Married Filing Jointly - You participate in an employer retirement planPhased out: $98,000–$118,000 ($96,000–$116,000 for 2014)

Annual Gift Exclusion

There is a limit on how much money you can gift to another person without incurring the dreaded gift tax. This applies only to the donor, as there is no tax applicable on the receipt of a gift from another person.

 Lifetime Gift and Estate Exclusion529 Five-year Forward Averaging
Each individual can gift $14,000 this year
(unchanged from 2014) per recipient without
gift tax.
Federal estate tax rate maximum is 40%. Gifts over the annual gift tax exclusion amount
are counted against the $5,430,0007 unified
lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion amount. State estate tax rates and structures vary.
Each individual can contribute up to $70,000
(i.e., $14,000 annual gift tax exclusion amount
times 5) in 2015 (unchanged from 2014) per beneficiary and “average” it for gift tax
exclusion over five years, making no additional
gifts to that beneficiary during that time.

Income Tax Rates

Tax brackets have increased again for 2015.

Marginal Tax Rate
(aka “Tax Bracket”)
Taxable Income - SingleTaxable Income - Married Filing Jointly and Qualified Widow(er)sLong-Term Capital Gains/Qualified Dividends Rate
10%$0–$9,225 $0–$18,4500%
15%$9,225–$37,450 $18,450–$74,9000%
25%$37,450–$90,750 $74,900–$151,20015%
28%$90,750–$189,300 $151,200–$230,45015%
33%$189,300–$411,500 $230,450–$411,50015%
35%$411,500–$413,200 $411,500–$464,85015%
39.6%Over $413,200 Over $464,85020%

Social Security Full Retirement Age

How much you will collect in Social Security benefits is determined by your year of birth. This information doesn’t get updated every year the way other numbers in this article do, but it’s worth revisiting since we’re all a little bit closer to retirement than we were a year ago.

Birth YearFull Retirement Age
1943 through 195466
1955 66 and 2 months
195666 and 4 months
195766 and 6 months
195866 and 8 months
195966 and 10 months
Born 1960 or later67

(Source: Social Security Administration‘s Retirement Planner: Full Retirement Age. )

Maximum Annual Social Security Benefit Amounts by Age

This Social Security number is updated annually. Below are the benefit maximums and averages for 2015. 62 is the earliest age at which you can collect benefits, and the amount increases the later you begin. There is however no advantage to delaying initiating of benefits past age 70, as the amount is no longer increased as a result of postponement.

Age When Initiating Benefits62Your Full Retirement Age 70
Annual Benefit AmountThe smallest possible"Full" - but not the largest possibleLargest possible
2015 Maximum Annual Benefit$23,967$31,956$42,182
2015 Average Annual Benefit$11,952$15,936$21,036

Social Security Retirement Earnings Test

An increasing number of people are having to supplement their Social Security benefit with earned income. Here are the income limits – and penalties – for working while collecting benefits at various ages. The penalties are most severe if you retire prior to reaching your full retirement age, but there are no limits on earned income once you reach it.

Before the year you reach FRA $15,720—$1 of benefits is withheld temporarily* for every $2 earned
above this amount
In the year you reach FRA, but before the month you reach FRA $41,880—$1 of benefits is withheld temporarily* for every $3 earned
above this amount
In the month you reach FRA and laterNo limit

*The use of the word “temporarily” refers to the fact that benefits are recalculated when you reach your full retirement age (FRA), to account for amounts withheld, and increased thereafter.

You can download a pdf of these key financial numbers with this link–Key Financial Numbers 2015

Topics: News

One Response to “8 Key Financial Numbers for 2015”

  1. Happy to see the limit for the 401K increased for 2015. Already adjusted my withholding to make sure I contribute the extra $500 to max out.

    Wish the traditional IRA limits changed as well, but we have this set to contribute enough to max out the $5,500 limit in 2015 as well.

    The only other thing I didn’t see was the HSA contribution limits. This is the first year we will be participating in one of these. I think the limit is $3,000/person. I don’t know that we will max it out but we will contribute some money here.


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