The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $17,000 to $17,500. The catch-up contribution limit for employees ages 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $5,500.
Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code provides for dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans. Section 415(d) requires that the commissioner annually adjust these limits for cost of living increases. The limitations that are adjusted by reference to Section 415(d) generally will change for 2013 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment.
Effective January 1, 2013, the limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) is increased from $200,000 to $205,000. For a participant who separated from service before January 1, 2013, the limitation for defined benefit plans under Section 415(b)(1)(B) is computed by multiplying the participant’s compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2012, by 1.0170.
The limitation for defined contribution plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) is increased in 2013 from $50,000 to $51,000.
The annual compensation limit under Sections 401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C) and 408(k)(6)(D)(ii) is increased from $250,000 to $255,000.
The dollar limitation under Section 416(i)(1)(A)(i) concerning the definition of key employee in a top-heavy plan remains unchanged at $165,000.
Other limitations announced include:
- The deduction for taxpayers making contributions to a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) is phased out for singles and heads of household who are covered by a workplace retirement plan and have modified adjusted gross incomes (AGI) between $59,000 and $69,000, up from $58,000 and $68,000 in 2012. For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse who makes the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range is $95,000 to $115,000, up from $92,000 to $112,000. For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $178,000 and $188,000, up from $173,000 and $183,000.
- The AGI phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $178,000 to $188,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $173,000 to $183,000 in 2012. For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $112,000 to $127,000, up from $110,000 to $125,000. For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a retirement plan at work, the phase-out range remains $0 to $10,000.
- The AGI limit for the saver’s credit (also known as the retirement savings contribution credit) for low- and moderate-income workers is $59,000 for married couples filing jointly, up from $57,500 in 2012; $44,250 for heads of household, up from $43,125; and $29,500 for married individuals filing separately and for singles, up from $28,750.
- The dollar amount under Section 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan subject to a five-year distribution period is increased from $1,015,000 to $1,035,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the five-year distribution period is increased from $200,000 to $205,000.
- The limitation used in the definition of highly compensated employee under Section 414(q)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $115,000.
- The dollar limitation under Section 414(v)(2)(B)(ii) for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan described in Section 401(k)(11) or Section 408(p) for individuals ages 50 or older remains unchanged at $2,500.
- The annual compensation limitation under Section 401(a)(17) for eligible participants in certain governmental plans that, under the plan as in effect on July 1, 1993, allowed COLAs to the compensation limitation under the plan under Section 401(a)(17) to be taken into account, is increased from $375,000 to $380,000.
- The compensation amount under Section 408(k)(2)(C) regarding simplified employee pensions (SEPs) remains unchanged at $550.
- The limitation under Section 408(p)(2)(E) regarding SIMPLE retirement accounts is increased from $11,500 to $12,000.
- The limitation on deferrals under Section 457(e)(15) concerning deferred compensation plans of state and local governments and tax-exempt organizations is increased from $17,000 to $17,500.
- The compensation amount under Section 1.61 21(f)(5)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations concerning the definition of “control employee” for fringe benefit valuation purposes remains unchanged at $100,000. The compensation amount under Section 1.61 21(f)(5)(iii) remains unchanged at $205,000.
- The dollar amount under Section 430(c)(7)(D)(i)(II) used to determine excess employee compensation with respect to a single-employer defined benefit pension plan for which the special election under Section 430(c)(2)(D) has been made is increased from $1,039,000 to $1,066,000.
An updated table of plan limitations will be made available at http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/COLA-Increases-for-Dollar-Limitations-on-Benefits-and-Contributions.