2024 USA 401(k) Contribution Limits: Your Comprehensive Guide

Updated on June 14, 2024

Although the official announcement is set for October, a recent report suggests that after a significant increase in 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is likely to only slightly raise contribution limits for retirement accounts in 2024. The 2023 adjustment, influenced by inflation, saw a $2,000 increase. The updated report indicates an expected additional increase of $500 in 2024, bringing the maximum contribution for 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans to $23,000. The yearly addition limit for defined contribution plans is anticipated to range between $68,000 and $69,000. The catch-up contribution limit for 2024 is expected to remain at $7,500, the same as in 2023.

2024 401(k) Contribution Limits Overview

In the United States, a 401(k) plan is a popular retirement savings account offered by employers. It operates as a tax-deferred pension plan, deriving its name from the corresponding section in the Internal Revenue Service code (401(k)). Typically managed by a company’s human resources department, these plans have been a mainstay since their introduction in 1978 and have become the most widely utilized form of employer-sponsored retirement accounts in the country. The 2020 CARES Act, officially named the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, was enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing assistance to those affected by the virus.

The 401(k) plan allows eligible individuals to withdraw up to $100,000 without facing penalties. They can also borrow up to $100,000 or 100% of the vested balance and delay loan payments for up to a year. Additionally, withdrawal taxes can be spread out over a three-year period. In a further relief measure for 2020, retirees aged 70.5 years or older are not required to make mandatory minimum distributions (RMDs).

2024 401(k) Contribution Limits Set to Increase

According to experts, the IRS is expected to boost contribution limits by $500 in 2024 for eligible 457 plans, 403(b) plans, and 401(k)s. This would mean an increase from $22,500 in 2023 to $23,000. The 2023 increase followed a $1,000 rise in 2022 over 2021. If the 2024 increase unfolds as anticipated, it will mark one of the smaller annual adjustments in recent years.

Comparing 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2023 and 2024

401 (K) contribution limitUS Dollar 23,000US Dollar 22,500
401 (K) Catch-up contributionUS Dollar 7,500US Dollar 7,500
401 (K) Total contribution <50US Dollar 68,000US Dollar 66,000
401 (K) 50+ total contributionUS Dollar 75,500US Dollar 73,500

2024 USA 401(k) Contribution Limits Overview

“401(k) Contribution Limits: A Look at 2020 Rules and Options”

The Internal Revenue Service determines annual contribution limits for 401(k) plans. These limits encompass both employee and combined employer/employee contributions, with the 2020 cap for employee contributions set at $19,500.

The total maximum for employer and employee contributions is either 100% of employee compensation or $57,000, depending on which is less. Additionally, individuals aged 50 and above have the opportunity for catch-up contributions beyond the standard limit. In 2020, the maximum catch-up contribution allowed was $6,500.

2024 401(k) Contribution Limits: Planning Tips

Employers commonly offer a 401(k) match of 50 cents on the dollar, covering up to 6 percent of an employee’s salary or 3 percent of compensation. To maximize this benefit, employees usually need to contribute 6% of their salary to the 401(k) plan. Some more generous plans extend the match to a total of at least 6 percent. Taking advantage of the employer match is like getting free money and ensures a guaranteed return on your investment.

Comparing Traditional and Roth 401(k) Plans

Some employers offer a Roth 401(k) alongside the standard 401(k). With a traditional 401(k), you can delay paying income tax on your contributions. While a Roth 401(k) doesn’t provide an early tax benefit, withdrawals in retirement are tax-free, including both your earnings and contributions. Investing in both Traditional and Roth 401(k) plans offers tax diversification, which can be beneficial in retirement. If available, you can contribute to both a traditional 401(k) and a Roth plan, ensuring your total contributions as an employee stay within the specified limits.


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