Roth IRA Contribution and Income Limits for 2017

The IRS recently released its 2017 update to income and contribution limits for Roth IRAs. As detailed below, the contribution limits for a Roth IRA are unchanged for 2017 — they remain at $5,500. The catch-up contribution for those 50 or older, which is not indexed for inflation, remains $1,000. The income limits to qualify for a Roth IRA, however, have risen.  Here are the details.

2017 Roth IRA Contribution Limits

According to the IRS, the maximum amount that can be contributed to a traditional or Roth IRA in 2017 is as follows:

If you are under 50 years of age at the end of 2017: The maximum you can contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA is $5,500. You can split this between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA if you want, but the combined limit is still $5,500.

In addition, the maximum deductible amount you contribute to a traditional IRA and the maximum amount you contribute to a Roth IRA may be reduced depending on your adjusted income (see below).

If you are 50 years of age or older before the end of 2017: The maximum contribution that can be made to a traditional or Roth IRA is $6,500 ($5,500 + $1,000 catch-up contribution). This limit can be split between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, but the combined limit is $6,500.

The maximum deductible contribution to a traditional IRA and the maximum contribution to a Roth IRA may be reduced depending on your modified adjusted gross income.

As noted above, these limits remain unchanged for 2017.

See this information in table form below:

Tax YearContribution Limit (for taxpayers under age 50)Contribution Limit (for taxpayers ave 50 or over by the end of the year)
2017$5,500$6,500
2016$5,500$6,500
2015$5,500$6,500
2014$5,500$6,500
2013$5,500$6,500
2012$5,000$6,000
2011$5,000$6,000
2010$5,000$6,000

Roth IRA Income Limits

Before you get too excited about a Roth IRA, remember that your income can disqualify you from opening one. To determine your eligibility, you need to know your modified AGI (adjusted gross income) and filing status.

The income limits typically rise a bit every year because of inflation. For 2017, the Roth IRA contribution limit is phased out based on the following income levels:

  • For single or head of household filers, the phase-out range is $118,000 to $133,000. If your modified AGI is more than $133,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA.
  • For those who are married filing jointly*, the phase-out range is $186,000 to $194,000. If your combined, modified AGI is more than $196,000, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in 2014.
  • Finally, if your filing status is married filing separately (you live with your spouse at any time during the year), the phase-out range is $0 to $10,000. If you make more than $10,000 and file as married filing separately*, you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in 2017.

Check out this information, along with historical income limits, in table form below:

Tax YearSingle/Head of Household FilersMarried Filing Jointly/Qualified Widow(er) ContributionsMarried Filing Separately*
2016$117,000 - $132,000$184,000 - $194,000$0 - $10,000
2015$116,000 - $131,000$183,000 - $193,000$0 - $10,000
2014$114,000 - $129,000$181,000 - $191,000$0 - $10,000
2013$112,000 - $127,000$178,000 - $188,000$0 - $10,000
2012$110,000 - $125,000$173,000 - $183,000$0 - $10,000
2011$107,000 - $122,000$169,000 - $179,000$0 - $10,000
2010$105,000 - $120,000$167,000 - $177,000$0 - $10,000

*Note: If you file married, filing separately and do not live with your spouse at any point during the tax year, you can use the limits for single/head of household filers. If you do live with your spouse at any point during the year, you’ll be limited to the $0-$10,000 phase out range.

If you want to open an IRA account, I think Betterment is worth serious consideration. If you want to trade individual stocks and ETFs in your IRA, check out our list of IRA discount brokers.


Topics: Retirement Planning

15 Responses to “Roth IRA Contribution and Income Limits for 2017”

    • The medical epnsxee deduction can be mentally matched to to any other income to make it tax free, correct? Suppose you have some other income plus Roth IRA withdrawals, you are not really at a disadvantage versus other income plus traditional IRA withdrawals. It all comes down to the marginal tax rate, as you mentioned in the previous post.

  1. All right, I want to maximize my roth IRA or/and IRA like always and like always do not know if I need to contribute to one instead or the other? What is best in term of savings and IRS avantages??? I know you do not own a crystal ball to know the taxes pressure in years from now but I am really at lost on this one. Any advice???

    Thanks,
    Isabelle

    • Rob Berger

      Isabelle, the decision between a Roth IRA and deductible IRA is never an easy one. The key is whether your tax rates will be higher when you eventually withdraw the money in retirement than it is when you make the contributions. If your tax rate will be higher, the Roth is a better deal. Of course, there’s usually no way to know for certain. For me, I would contribute to a Roth if I was in the lower two federal tax brackets, a deductible if I were in the highest two, and it would be a toss up if I were in the middle tax brackets. That’s how I evaluate it.

  2. I’m a 100% Commission Sales Person and not sure if my income will or will not surpass the $131k mark this year. Any advice? Some months my “average” is above and some below ($10,916)/ month.

    • Keith

      My advice is to wait until the tax year is over and see where you landed. I know there are people who contribute throughout the year to their IRA but how do they know where they are going to land (For example, What if one hits it big at the casino 😉 and thus unexpectedly raises their income to be over the limit that year?) I play it safe and wait until I know where I landed this way I don’t have to worry about having to deal with the IRS. I do set aside $917 aside every month and put it in a CapitalOne360 savings account so that I know the IRA contribution money ($11k for my wife and I) is there and ready to be put into either a Roth or a Trad IRA.

  3. Phil Weintraub

    I am married and my adjusted gross income is in excess of the maximum. I had established a Roth IRA when my income met the necessary requirements. The question is do I have to stop contributing to my existing Roth IRA or may I continue since it was established when my income was quite limited

  4. Keogh01

    This was not helpful as I was looking for the income limits for Roth contributions when you are covered by an employer plan! I make $108k, contribute to a SEP and want to know if I can also do a Roth!

    • Stephanie Colestock
      Stephanie Colestock

      Are your SEP contributions made by your employer or by you? If your employer is making the contributions, they do not affect your IRA contribution limit. If YOU are making SEP contributions, though, they WILL affect your contribution limit.

      ie: If your employer contributes $5000 to your SEP-IRA, you can still contribute the maximum amount ($5,500) to your Roth, traditional IRA, or both combined. However, if your employer contributes $5,000 to your SEP and you contribute another $3,000 to your SEP, you can only contribute a maximum of $2,500 to your Roth or traditional IRA ($3,000-SEP + $2,500-traditional/Roth = $5,500 personal IRA contribution total). Does that make sense?

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

      -Stephanie
      [email protected]

  5. Christine Tu

    Hello and thanks so much for the info.

    I am married and file jointly with my husband. My husband has not contributed at all to his employer provided 401k plan and I do not have one through my employer. Our MAGI is close to 220k for 2016. Are we eligible for a traditional IRA based on our combined income?

    • Stephanie Colestock
      Stephanie Colestock

      Hello Christine,

      While you are certainly able to contribute to a traditional IRA regardless of income (up to the annual contribution max of $5,500 — or $6,500 if over 50), your income is too high to qualify for the tax deduction. This takes away your biggest benefit with IRAs. Is there a reason you two haven’t contributed to the 401k this year? Does his employer offer a match of any kind? It may be worth serious reconsideration.

      Best,
      Stephanie
      [email protected]

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