Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Deferred compensation limits

Yearly limits for deferred compensation.  Deferred compensation: voluntary contributions to a savings plan designed for retirement income; usually exempt from FIT and SIT, depending upon state regulations; includes Internal Revenue Codes 401(k), 403(b), 408(k)(6), 457(b), 501(c) and SIMPLE IRA.

Employee Limits

2020 - 2021

Deferred Compensation Chart
Type Exempt From **** Limit <50 Years Limit >50 Years W-2 Box Code
401(k) FIT & SIT $19,500 $26,000 Box 12 - D
After-tax Roth 401(k) Nothing - Fully Taxable $19,500*** $26,000*** Box 12 - AA
Simple IRA FIT & SIT $13,500 $16,500 Box 12 - S
403(b)/ TSA FIT & SIT $19,500 $26,000* Box 12 - E
After-tax Roth 403(b) Nothing - Fully Taxable $19,500*** $26,000* Box 12 - BB
408(k)(6) / SEP IRA FIT & SIT $19,500 $26,000 Box 12 - F
457(b) FIT & SIT $19,500 $26,000** Box 12 - G
Roth 457(b) Nothing - Fully Taxable $19,000*** $26,000** Box 12 - EE
501(c)(18)(D) FIT & SIT $7,000 N/A Box 12 - H

* There is a special catch-up election for employees who have completed at least 15 years of service with a qualified organization. Such employees are able to contribute an additional $3,000 annually, which brings the limit to $22,000 (<50) or $28,000.00. (>50).  See Retirement Plans FAQs regarding 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans for additional details.

** Special rules may apply depending on the type of entity and how close the employee is to retirement.

*** IRS rules indicate a Roth 401(k) shares the annual limit with a 401(k) plan. A Roth 403(b) shares the annual limit with a 403(b).

See COLA Increases for Dollar Limitation onr Benefits and contributioncontribution.

for more information.

Company Contribution Limits

For company contribution limits, refer to IRS Retirement Topics - Contribution Limits or your plan sponsor.


  • There are penalties and implications for over-contributing to retirement plans, tax filings, and W-2 corrections
  • All corrections must be made by April 15th, otherwise, it is considered taxable income for the current year as well as the previous year and is subject to double taxation.
  • The maximum amount that someone can contribute to retirement plans annually is per person and not by the employer.
  • If an employee over contributes to their retirement plan, the retirement plan provider will send them a 1099R, which would get filed with their personal tax return.

Related Articles

For additional information on Employee Limits and Employer (Company) contributions or matches see the IRS resource:

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post
Sign in for the best experience
Ask questions, get answers, and join our large community of QuickBooks users.
Sign In / Sign Up

Need to get in touch?

Contact us