2020 IRS Retirement Contribution Limits

IRS Benefit Plan Limits for 2020

On November 6, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2019-59, announcing cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans and retirement accounts in 2020. The list below, although not exhaustive, highlights key changes that retirement plan sponsors should be aware of, as well as some limitations that remain unchanged from 2019:

  • The elective deferral limit is increasing from $19,000 to $19,500.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and older is increasing from $6,000 to $6,500.
  • The aggregate contribution limit for defined contribution plans is increasing from $56,000 to $57,000.
  • The annual compensation limit used to calculate contributions is increasing from $280,000 to $285,000.
  • The limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan is increasing from $225,000 to $230,000. (For a participant who separated from service before January 1, 2020, the limitation for defined benefit plans under Section 415(b)(1)(B) can be computed by multiplying the participant’s compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2019, by 1.0176.)
  • The dollar limit used in the definition of “key employee” in a top-heavy retirement plan is increasing from $180,000 to $185,000.
  • The dollar limit used in the definition of “highly compensated employee” is increasing from $125,000 to $130,000.

The table below displays the 2019 and 2020 limits for a host of tax breaks:

401(k) Plan Limits for Plan Year 2019 Limit 2020 Limit
401(k) Elective Deferral Limit1 $19,000 $19,500
Catch-Up Contribution2 $6,000 $6,500
Defined Contribution Dollar Limit $56,000 $57,000
Compensation Limit3 $280,000 $285,000
Highly Compensated Employee Income Limit $125,000 $130,000
Key Employee Officer Limit $180,000 $185,000

 

Non-401(k) Limits 2019 Limit 2020 Limit
403(b) Elective Deferral Limit1 $19,000 $19,500
Defined Benefit Dollar Limit $225,000 $230,000
457 Employee Deferral Limit $19,000 $19,500

 

SEP and SIMPLE IRA Limits 2019 Limit 2020 Limit
SEP Minimum Compensation $600 $600
SEP Maximum Compensation $280,000 $285,000
SIMPLE Contribution Limit $13,000 $13,500
SIMPLE Catch-Up Contribution2 $3,000 $3,000

 

IRA and Roth Limits 2019 Limit 2020 Limit
IRA and Roth Contribution Limit $6,000 $6,000
Catch-Up Contribution2 $1,000 $1,000

 

1Employee deferrals to all 401(k) and 403(b) plans must be aggregated for purposes of this limit.
2Contributors must be age 50 or older during the calendar year.
3All compensation from a single employer (including all members of a controlled group) must be aggregated for purposes of this limit.

Paul Doherty, CFP®
[email protected]

Richard Beebe, CFP®
[email protected]

Brett Saide, CFP®
[email protected]

Stanley Steinberg, CFP®
[email protected]

Nathan Law, CFP®
[email protected]

Mary Ellison
[email protected]

Deirdre Legge
[email protected]