2021 retirement plan limits

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The Internal Revenue Service has announced the following inflation-adjusted retirement plan limits for 2021. Many of these limits rose, triggered by an increase in the cost-of-living index. However, the index increase did not trigger all limits to rise, as some have higher statutory thresholds.

  2021 Limit 2020 Limit 2019 Limit 2018 Limit
Annual Elective Deferrals
401(k) plans 402(g)(1)
$19,500 $19,500 $19,000 $18,500
Annual Age 50 Catch-Up Contributions
401(k) plans §414(v)(2)(B)(i)
$6,500 $6,500 $6,000 $6,000
Qualified Retirement Plans
Annual compensation limit §401(a)(17)/404(l)
$290,000 $285,000 $280,000 $275,000
Defined Benefit Plans
Annual benefit limit §415(b)(1)(A)
$230,000 $230,000 $225,000 $220,000
Defined Contribution Plans
Annual contribution limit §415(c)(1)(A)
$58,000 $57,000 $56,000 $55,000
HCE Definition
Compensation threshold §414(q)(1)(B)
$130,000 $130,000 $125,000 $120,000
Top Heavy Plan – Key Employees
Officer compensation threshold §416(i)(1)(A)(i)
$185,000 $185,000 $180,000 $175,000
Social Security
Taxable wage base (OASDI only)
$142,800 $137,700 $132,900 $128,400
HSA Contribution
Health Savings Account
$3,600 (single)
$7,200 (family)
$3,550 (single)
$7,100 (family)
$3,500 (single)
$7,000 (family)
$3,450 (single)
$6,900 (family)
HSA Catch-up Contributions
(age 55 or older)
$1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000

Source: Internal Revenue Service

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