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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.

Over-Contributing

  • 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:

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