[Updated on September 14, 2021, after the August inflation release. All IRA-related numbers are final.]
Retirement plan contribution limits are adjusted for inflation each year. Inflation has been at elevated levels in recent months. Most contribution limits and income limits will go up in 2022. Some limits will stay the same as in 2021 due to rounding.
Before the IRS publishes the official numbers in October or November, I’m able to make my own calculations using the published inflation numbers and going by the same rules the IRS uses as stipulated by law.
401k/403b/457/TSP Elective Deferral Limit
401k/403b/457/TSP contribution limit will go up by $1,000 from $19,500 in 2021 to $20,500 in 2022. This limit usually goes up by $500 at a time but higher inflation is making it go two steps in one year.
If you are age 50 or over, the catch-up contribution limit will stay the same at $6,500 in 2022 as in 2021.
Employer match or profit-sharing contributions aren’t included in these limits. If you work for multiple employers in the same year or if your employer offers multiple plans, you have one single employee contribution limit for 401k, 403b, and TSP across all plans.
The 457 plan limit is separate from the 401k/403b/TSP limit. You can contribute the maximum to both a 401k/403b/TSP plan and a 457 plan.
Annual Additions Limit
The total employer plus employee contributions to all defined contribution plans by the same employer will increase by $3,000 from $58,000 in 2021 to $61,000 in 2022. This limit usually increases by $1,000 at a time but now it’s jumping three steps in one year.
The age-50-or-over catch-up contribution is separate from this limit. If you work for multiple employers in the same year, you have separate limits for each unrelated employer.
SEP-IRA Contribution Limit
The SEP-IRA contribution limit is always the same as the annual additions limit for a qualified plan. It will also increase by $3,000 from $58,000 in 2021 to $61,000 in 2022.
Because the SEP-IRA doesn’t allow employee contributions, unless your self-employment income is well above $200,000, you have a higher contribution limit if you use a solo 401k. See Solo 401k When You Have Self-Employment Income.
Annual Compensation Limit
The maximum annual compensation that can be considered for making contributions to a retirement plan is always 5x the annual additions limit. Therefore the annual compensation limit will increase by $15,000 from $290,000 in 2021 to $305,000 in 2022.
Highly Compensated Employee Threshold
If your employer limits your contribution because you are a Highly Compensated Employee (HCE), the minimum compensation will go up from $130,000 in 2021 to $135,000 in 2022.
SIMPLE 401k and SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limit
SIMPLE 401k and SIMPLE IRA plans have a lower limit than standard 401k plans. The contribution limit for SIMPLE 401k and SIMPLE IRA plans will go up from $13,500 in 2021 to $14,000 in 2022.
If you are age 50 or over, the catch-up contribution limit will stay the same at $3,000 in 2022 as in 2021.
Employer contributions aren’t included in these limits.
Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limit
The Traditional or Roth IRA contribution limit will stay the same at $6,000 in 2022 as in 2021. The age 50 catch-up limit is fixed by law at $1,000 in all years.
The IRA contribution limit and the 401k/403b/TSP or SIMPLE contribution limit are separate. You can contribute the respective maximum to both a 401k/403b/TSP/SIMPLE plan and a traditional or Roth IRA.
Deductible IRA Income Limit
The income limit for taking a full deduction for your contribution to a traditional IRA while participating in a workplace retirement will increase by $2,000 for singles, from $66,000 in 2021 to $68,000 in 2022. It will increase by $4,000 for married filing jointly, from $105,000 in 2021 to $109,000 in 2022. The deduction completely phases out when your income goes above $76,000 in 2021 and $78,000 in 2022 for singles; and for married filing jointly, $125,000 in 2021 and $129,000 in 2022.
The income limit for taking a full deduction for your contribution to a traditional IRA when you are not covered in a workplace retirement but your spouse is will go up by $6,000 for married filing jointly from $198,000 in 2021 to $204,000 in 2022. The deduction completely phases out when your joint income goes above $208,000 in 2021 and $214,000 in 2022.
Roth IRA Income Limit
The income limit for contributing the maximum to a Roth IRA will go up by $4,000 for singles from $125,000 in 2021 to $129,000 in 2022. It will go up by $6,000 for married filing jointly from $198,000 in 2021 to $204,000 in 2022.
You can’t contribute anything directly to a Roth IRA when your income goes above $140,000 in 2021 and $144,000 in 2022 for singles, and $208,000 in 2021 and $214,000 in 2022 for married filing jointly, up by $4,000 and $6,000 respectively in 2022. 2021 may be the last year you can do a backdoor Roth.
Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Contribution Limit
The Healthcare FSA contribution limit will go up by $100 from $2,750 per person in 2021 to $2,850 per person in 2022.
Health Savings Account Contribution Limit
The HSA contribution limit for single coverage will go up by $50 from $3,600 in 2021 to $3,650 in 2022. The HSA contribution limit for family coverage will go up from $7,200 in 2021 to $7,300 in 2022. These were announced previously in the spring. Please see HSA Contribution Limits.
Those who are 55 or older can contribute an additional $1,000. If you are married and both of you are 55 or older, each of you can contribute the additional $1,000, but to separate HSAs in each person’s name.
Saver’s Credit Income Limit
The income limits for receiving a Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (“Saver’s Credit”) will increase in 2022. For married filing jointly, it will be $39,500 in 2021 and $41,000 in 2022 (50% credit), $43,000 in 2021 and $44,000 in 2022 (20% credit), and $66,000 in 2021 and $68,000 in 2022 (10% credit).
The limits for singles will be at half of the limits for married filing jointly, at $19,750 in 2021 and $20,500 in 2022 (50% credit), $21,500 in 2021 and $22,000 in 2022 (20% credit), and $33,000 in 2021 and $34,000 in 2022 (10% credit).
|Limit on employee contributions to 401k, 403b, or 457 plan||$19,500||$20,500||$1,000|
|Limit on age 50+ catchup contributions to 401k, 403b, or 457 plan||$6,500||$6,500||None|
|SIMPLE 401k or SIMPLE IRA contributions limit||$13,500||$14,000||$500|
|SIMPLE 401k or SIMPLE IRA age 50+ catchup contributions limit||$3,000||$3,000||None|
|Highly Compensated Employee definition||$130,000||$135,000||$5,000|
|Maximum annual additions to all defined contribution plans by the same employer||$58,000||$61,000||$3,000|
|SEP-IRA contribution limit||$58,000||$61,000||$3,000|
|Traditional and Roth IRA contribution limit||$6,000||$6,000||None|
|Traditional and Roth IRA age 50+ catchup contribution limit||$1,000||$1,000||None|
|Deductible IRA income limit, single, active participant in workplace retirement plan||$66,000 – $76,000||$68,000 – $78,000||$2,000|
|Deductible IRA income limit, married, active participant in workplace retirement plan||$105,000 – $125,000||$109,000 – $129,000||$4,000|
|Deductible IRA income limit, married, spouse is active participant in workplace retirement plan||$198,000 – $208,000||$204,000 – $214,000||$6,000|
|Roth IRA income limit, single||$125,000 – $140,000||$129,000 – $144,000||$4,000|
|Roth IRA income limit, married filing jointly||$198,000 – $208,000||$204,000 – $214,000||$6,000|
|Healthcare FSA Contribution Limit||$2,750||$2,850||$100|
|HSA Contribution Limit, single coverage||$3,600||$3,650||$50|
|HSA Contribution Limit, family coverage||$7,200||$7,300||$100|
|HSA, age 55 catch-up||$1,000||$1,000||None|
|Saver’s Credit income limit, married filing jointly||$39,500 (50%)|
|Saver’s Credit income limit, single||$19,750 (50%)|
Source: IRS Notice 2020-79, author’s own calculations
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