Compliance

Retirement Plan Deferral Limit Unchanged for 2017

Other limits also remained unchanged according to an IRS Notice, but the annual 415 limit increased.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | October 27, 2016
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2017 in Notice 2016-62

The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $18,000. In addition, the catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and older who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $6,000.

Other limits also remain unchanged. The limitation used in the definition of highly compensated employee under Section 414(q)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $120,000, and the dollar limitation on premiums paid with respect to a qualifying longevity annuity contract under Section 1.401(a)(9)-6, A-17(b)(2)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations remains unchanged at $125,000.

The limit on annual contributions to an individual retirement account (IRA) remains unchanged at $5,500.  The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals age 50 and older is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains at $1,000.

However, some limits have changed. Effective January 1, 2017, the limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit (DB) plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) is increased from $210,000 to $215,000.  For a participant who separated from service before January 1, 2017, the limitation for defined benefit plans under Section 415(b)(1)(B) is computed by multiplying the participant's compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2016, by 1.0112. The limitation for defined contribution (DC) plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) is increased in 2017 from $53,000 to $54,000.

The annual compensation limit under Sections 401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C), and 408(k)(6)(D)(ii) is increased from $265,000 to $270,000.

The dollar limitation under Section 416(i)(1)(A)(i) concerning the definition of key employee in a top-heavy plan is increased from $170,000 to $175,000.

The dollar amount under Section 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) subject to a five-year distribution period is increased from $1,070,000 to $1,080,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the five-year distribution period is increased from $210,000 to $215,000.

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