401(k) Contribution Limits for 2023, 2022, and Prior Years

By Jackie Beck   Updated 10/31/2022 at 1:38 pm

Each year, the government looks into whether or not to increase 401(k) contribution limits for those kinds of retirement plans.

It’s good to take advantage of any increases if you can, as it could help future retired-you. To make planning and taxes a little easier, here are the amounts for 2023 and prior years.

401(k) Contribution Limits

The annual contribution limits (also known as elective deferrals) are shown below for a regular 401(k) and a Roth 401(k). Keep in mind that the amount you put in also can’t be more than 100% of your compensation.

Traditional 401(k) and Roth 401(k) Contribution Limits

Year   Normal LimitAge 50+ Limit
2023  $22,500$30,000 (includes $7,500 catch-up)
2022   $20,500$27,000 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2021   $19,500$26,000 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2020  $19,500$26,000 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2019  $19,000$25,000 (includes $6,000 catch-up)

If you have both a traditional 401(k) and a Roth 401(k), the combined 401(k) contribution limit is the same. The total can just be split between them in whatever way you want.

So for example, if you are 35 years old, for 2023 you could put $12,500 in a Roth 401(k) and $10,000 in a traditional 401(k). Or $17,000 in the Roth 401(k) and $5,500 in the traditional, etc.

The split is up to you as long as the total contributions don’t go over the total limit (or the amount you make if that’s less than the limit.)

In any case, as per most retirement plans, you cannot contribute more than your annual salary into a 401(k).

SIMPLE 401(k) Contribution Limits

If you work for an employer with 100 or fewer employees, they may offer a SIMPLE 401(k) plan instead. SIMPLE 401(k) employee contribution limits are lower than with the other types of 401(k) plans.

Year   Normal LimitAge 50+ Limit
2023  $15,500$19,000 (includes $3,500 catch-up)
2022   $14,000$17,000 (includes $3,000 catch-up)
2021   $13,500$16,500 (includes $3,000 catch-up)
2020  $13,500$16,500 (includes $3,000 catch-up)
2019  $13,000$16,000 (includes $3,000 catch-up)
2018  $12,500$15,500 (includes $3,000 catch-up)
2017  $12,500$15,500 (includes $3,000 catch-up)
2016  $12,500$15,500 (includes $3,000 catch-up)
2015  $12,500$15,500 (includes $3,000 catch-up)

Solo 401(k) Contribution Limits

The biggest perk with this type of account is that you, as the employer, are also the employee. Because you are playing those two roles, there are two kinds of limits: elective and nonelective.

The IRS says that “you must make a special computation to figure the maximum amount of elective deferrals and nonelective contributions you can make for yourself. When figuring the contribution, compensation is your ‘earned income,’ which is defined as net earnings from self-employment after deducting both one-half of your self-employment tax and contributions for yourself.”

As the self-employed person, for your elective deferral you can contribute up to 100% of compensation up to the annual contribution limit:

Solo 401(k) Employee Contribution Limits

Year   Normal LimitAge 50+ Limit
2023  $22,500$30,000 (includes $7,500 catch-up)
2022   $20,500$27,000 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2021   $19,500$26,000 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2020  $19,500$26,000 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2019  $19,000$25,000 (includes $6,000 catch-up)

Then, in your employer role you must also put in either:

In either case, note that the combined contributions can’t be more than a total of the amounts listed below:

Solo 401(k) Combined Contribution Limits

Year   Normal LimitAge 50+ Limit
2023  $66,000$73,500 (includes $7,500 catch-up)
2022   $61,000$67,500 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2021   $58,000$64,500 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2020  $57,000$63,500 (includes $6,500 catch-up)
2019  $56,000$62,000 (includes $6,000 catch-up)

Also, the IRS notes that “The rules relating to catch-up contributions are complex and your limits may differ according to provisions in your specific plan.”

Summing Up 401(k) Contribution Limits

In summary, the 401(k) contribution limits vary depending on the year, your age, and the kind of 401(k) plan. If you can contribute the max, that’s great! This will help you set aside money for retirement. The latest 401(k) contribution limits

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