Contribution Limits for 401(k)s and IRAs

Last Updated on 15th June 2022 by Jeffrey Camerda

People’s yearly contributions to retirement accounts, such as Roth IRAs, standard IRAs, and 401(k)s, are controlled by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


  • A Roth or conventional IRA contribution limit of $6,000 is available for 2021 and 2022. There is a $7,00 restriction for anyone over the age of 50.


  • The 2021’s 401(k) contribution limit is $19,500, or $26,000 for those over the age of fifty. The amount will climb to $27,000 for those 50 and older, or $20,500 for everyone else.


  • Combined 401(k) match limitations in 2021 are $58,000, $64,500 if you’re 50 or older, or 100% of your income if it’s less than the dollar restrictions, if applicable. There is a $61,000 and $67,500 cap for the year 2022, respectively.

Forms Of Contributions

Depending on one’s age, one may contribute to a retirement plan in one of two ways. Individuals under the age of 50 may make a “regular contribution.” A “catch-up contribution” is a one-time payment made to taxpayers who have reached the age of 50 and above.

These investors are referred to as “senior investors” since they are nearing retirement and hence have less time to build their holdings. 

This means that the IRS will allow higher contributions in the expectation that investments would “catch up.” As a reminder, those who will be 50 by the end of the year may make catch-up payments if they’re 49.

Limits on Roth IRA Contributions

Roth IRA contribution limits for the years 2021 and 2022 have been set at $6,000 for individuals under the age of 50 and $7,000 for those above the age of 50. 

To be eligible to contribute to an IRA, an individual must have earned money from a job or other sources, and that income must be equal to or greater than the contribution. 

The maximum you may donate, for example, is $4,000 each year. Roth IRA contributions aren’t allowed if a worker’s income surpasses a specific level; this should be noted.

The contribution limitations for traditional IRAs are the same as those for Roth IRAs. Traditional IRAs, in contrast to Roth IRAs, allow for unlimited contributions by anybody, regardless of income level.

What Kinds of Donations Are Not Included In the Contribution Limit?

Roth IRAs have annual contribution restrictions, however, the following have no such limits:

  • IRA contributions are transferred from one account to another.
  • Traditional IRAs were changed to Roth IRAs.
  • 401(k) and other qualifying retirement plan funds rolled over into an IRA.

Limits on Roth IRA Contribution Income

Roth IRAs, in contrast to standard IRAs and 401(k)s, have contribution limits based on an individual’s annual income. You can’t contribute to a Roth IRA at all if your salary is too high. The following restrictions must be adhered to while donating:

  • Backdoor Roth IRAs may be used if you earn too much money to contribute directly.
  • There will be no limit on contributions for married couples filing joint returns who earn less than $198,000 in MAGI, increasing to $204,000 in 2022.
  • If you’re single and your MAGI is less than $125,000 (or $129,000 in 2022), you may donate the whole amount.
  • Married joint filers whose yearly MAGIs fall within the range of $198,000 to $208,000 are eligible to pay a reduced amount.
  • Reducing contributions for single filers with a MAGI of between $125,000 and $140,000 will be available for 2022.
  • No Roth IRA contributions are allowed for married taxpayers with MAGIs greater than $208,000 (which will rise to $214,000 in 2022).
  • Single filers with MAGIs of more than $140,000 will not be able to contribute to Roth IRAs in the future.


Traditional IRA Income Limits

Traditional IRAs, as opposed to Roth IRAs, are funded with pre-tax monies, so the contribution you make may normally be written off in the year you make it. However, there are several variables at play here.

As long as you’re a single person or married and neither you nor your spouse has an IRA, you may deduct the whole amount of your IRA contribution—no matter how much money you make. It’s possible to deduct the whole cost if you don’t have an employer-sponsored plan but your spouse does, as long as your MAGI is less than $198,000 (increasing to $204,000 in 2022).

If you have a plan at work, the numbers alter. Couples filing jointly who earn less than $105,000 in 2021 (increasing to $109,000 in 2022) may deduct the entire amount of their taxable income. You may deduct a portion of your taxable income if your combined yearly income is between $105,000 and $125,000. There is a limit on how much you may deduct if you make more than $125,000 (or $129,000 in 2022).

In 2021, single taxpayers with incomes under $66,000 ($68,000 in 2022) can deduct the full amount of their taxable income, while those with incomes between $66,000 and $76,000 ($68,000 to $78,000 in 2022) can deduct a portion of their taxable income, while those with incomes over $76,000 ($78,000 in 2022) can deduct nothing.

Information on Making Contributions to an IRA

It is the taxpayer, not the account, who is subject to contribution restrictions for Roth and standard IRAs. This implies that in 2021, a person cannot make a Roth IRA contribution of $6,000 and a regular IRA contribution of another $6,000 at the same time. It’s also possible to contribute $6k to several retirement accounts, with $4k going to a Roth and $k to a conventional.

Regular Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) may be opened by married couples who file joint returns.

As long as one spouse has adequate income to fund both contributions, married couples may contribute the same amount to a spousal IRA for a non-working spouse.

Limits on 401(k) Contributions

Contributions to 401(k) plans are not subject to the same income restrictions as regular IRAs. In addition, investors have the option of putting extra money into their 401(k)s each year. While the 401(k) contribution maximum for those under the age of 50 is $19,500 for 2021, it will rise to $20,500 and $27,000 for those beyond the age of 50 in 2022, respectively.

Even while 401(k) contributions might lower your tax bill, you do not deduct those contributions when you submit your taxes since those contributions are made using pre-tax cash. Saving money at tax time is made possible by lowering your taxable income for the year.

401(k) Match Limits

Employees who participate in 401(k) plans are rewarded with an employer match, which is often a portion of their contributions, up to a certain percentage of their pay. You might get a 50/50 match of up to 5 percent of your pay if you work for a company that does this. For example, if you make $100,000 and put $10,000 into your 401(k), your employer will pay an additional $2,500 = (100,000 x 5 percent = $5,000.00 x 50%).

If your company provides a matching contribution, be sure you put in enough to get the full match.

Your employer’s match does not count against your yearly contribution limit, but the IRS does restrict the total amount of money you may put in your company’s 401(k) (k). The following are the total 401(k) contribution limits for you and your employer in 2021:

  • In 2022, if you’re under 50, you’ll be able to claim $58,000 (up to $61,000 in 2022).
  • If you’re 50 or older, you’ll get $64,500 (which will rise to $67,500 in 2022).
  • As much as possible of your take-home pay if it does not exceed the monetary constraints

Ineligible (Excess) Individual Retirement Account Contributions 

Excess contributions to an IRA will be taxed at a rate of six percent for those who invest more than they are eligible to. This fee will be imposed annually until the error is rectified. In most cases, consumers mistakenly contribute to an invalid IRA because of the following scenarios:

  • They have a higher income and are thus not eligible.
  • There is a lapse of memory on their part.
  • They made a donation that did not meet the definition of earned income.
  • During the year, they gave more than their yearly earnings did.


How to Correct IRA Contributions That Are In Excess

There are several options available to you if you discover you’ve made excessive contributions to one or more IRA accounts. However, failing to fulfill deadlines might result in severe fines.

For as long as they don’t reduce their excess IRA contributions, those who do so incur a 6% yearly penalty.

Six months after filing your taxes, you may delete any extra contributions that may have been made by mistake. The excess amount may also be deducted from the next year’s contribution. Consider contributing $8,000 one year but realizing that it was an error, you may cut your donation by $2,000 the next year. To avoid the 6% penalty until the excess is absorbed, don’t carry over any overpayments you’ve already made.

Overpayments to a 401(k) plan

The following conditions may result in an over-investment in your 401(k), even if your employer deducts your contributions:

You contribute too much to each retirement plan because you’ve changed jobs or retirement plans within the same year.

You have two jobs and two plans, but you aren’t aware that the restriction is per taxpayer, not per account.

A raise or bonus is given to you, and you fail to modify the proportion of your pay that reflects that increase or bonus.

Excessive Postponements: What to Do

Before March 1 of the year after the year, you over-contribute to 401(k), notify your plan administrator that you over-contributed to your 401(k). The extra cash and any associated profits should be refunded to you by April 15. It’s possible that if the extra money is not returned to you by the due date, you may wind up paying taxes on the amount twice: once in the year you contributed too much, and once when the excess amount is returned.

On a final note;

Contributions to 401(k) and IRA plans and accounts are subject to yearly limitations. If you are unable to invest the maximum amount, it is wise to maximize your contributions to your 401(k) to take advantage of the entire workplace match. Your IRA should get any leftover monies.


Jeffrey Camerda

Dr. Jeffery Camerda, PhD, is a financial planner who specializes in wealth management and retirement planning.With a PhD in Economics and Financial Planning, Jeffery represents the highest level of financial planning expertise and achievement in the USAIn addition to preparing you for a career in financial planning, a PhD in economics and finance also prepares you for academic pursuits, such as becoming a university professor in teaching or doing research.Here at the Wealth Builder, our financial advisory company was founded in 2007 and services all across the USA with over 16 years of expertise.In order to provide the finest advice and services, we pay close attention to the specific financial circumstances and requirements of each client.In order to guarantee that our clients don't get a sales pitch for insurance or investments, as well as a lack of conflict of interest from a prospective commission-bearing corporations, Jeffery focuses on fee-based services. Financial planning for wealth managers, financial well-being workshops, and personal financial planning packages are all part of the company's offering.Jeffrey Camarda, PhD, CFA, EA is also the founder of the Family Wealth Education Institute, is a member of the Financial Planning Association and serves as the Chairman of Camarda Wealth Advisory Group

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