Retirement Topics - Catch-Up Contributions


Individuals who are age 50 or over at the end of the calendar year can make annual catch-up contributions.

Annual catch-up contributions up to $6,500 in 2020 and in 2021 ($6,000 in 2015 - 2019) may be permitted by these plans:

  • 401(k) (other than a SIMPLE 401(k))
  • 403(b)
  • governmental 457(b)

Elective deferrals are not treated as catch-up contributions until they exceed the limit of $19,500 in 2020 and 2021 ($19,000 in 2019) or the ADP test limit of section 401(k)(3) or the plan limit (if any).

A participant can make catch-up contributions for a year up to the lesser of the following amounts:

  • The catch-up contribution dollar limit, or
  • The excess of the participant's compensation over the elective deferral contributions that are not catch-up contributions.

Plan participants must make catch-up contributions to a retirement plan via elective deferrals. Catch-up contributions must be made before the end of the plan year.

SIMPLE Plan Catch-Up Amounts

A SIMPLE IRA or a SIMPLE 401(k) plan may permit annual catch-up contributions up to $3,000 in 2015 - 2021. Salary reduction contributions in a SIMPLE IRA plan are not treated as catch-up contributions until they exceed $13,500 in 2020 and 2021 ($13,000 in 2015 - 2019).

403(b) Plan Catch-Up Amounts

Employees with at least 15 years of service may be eligible to make additional contributions to a 403(b) plan in addition to the regular catch-up for participants who are age 50 or over. See the discussion of 403(b) Contribution Limits for details.

IRA Catch-Up Amounts

You can make catch-up contributions to your traditional or Roth IRA up to $1,000 in 2015 - 2021. Catch-up contributions to an IRA are due by the due date of your tax return (not including extensions).

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