IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

Retirement Plan FAQs Regarding Contributions - Are contributions to retirement plans subject to withholding for FICA, Medicare or federal income tax?

Are contributions to retirement plans subject to withholding for FICA, Medicare or federal income tax?

It depends on the type of contribution. Generally, employee elective deferral contributions:

  • are subject to withholding for Social Security (FICA) and Medicare taxes.

  • are not subject to withholding for federal income tax, unless they are after-tax or designated Roth contributions.

Generally, employer matching and nonelective contributions:

  • are not subject to withholding for FICA, Medicare or federal income tax.

Additional Resources:

  • Publication 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide, for additional details, including special rules for contributions to plans sponsored by government and nonprofit organizations
  • Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans)
  • Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 25-Oct-2013