It’s that time of year once again when the United States Internal Revenue Service has announced its 2019 limitations on retirement plans for the 2019 tax year. Human resources and payroll should update their systems and employee communications as appropriate reflecting changes effective January 1, 2019.

Defined Contribution Plans
401(k), 403(b), 457 & Most Federal Thrift Savings Plans
Maximum elective deferral (employee)$18,500$19,000
Maximum contribution – all sources (employee & employer)$55,000$56,000
Age 50+* catch-up contribution (employee)$6,000$6,000
Age 50+* maximum contribution – all sources plus catch up (employee & employer)$61,000$62,000
Compensation ceiling for calculating contributions$275,000$280,000
Nondiscrimination testing – compensation limitation for “key employees”$175,000$180,000
Nondiscrimination testing – compensation limitation for “highly compensated employees”$120,000$125,000


Defined Benefit Plans
Annual benefit limitation$220,000 $225,000

The IRS also announced the Individual Retirement Account (IRA) limits effective January 1, 2019:

Individual Retirement Accounts
Annual contribution limit$5,500$6,000
Age 50+* annual catch-up contribution not subject to annual cost-of-living adjustment$1,000$1,000

*If age 50+ by year-end

Additional information on the 2019 limitations on retirement plans and further technical guidance may be found in the IRS source documents as noted below:

IRS Bulletin IR-2018-211
IRS Notice 2018-83

ERI Economic Research Institute compiles the most robust salary, cost-of-living, and executive compensation survey data available, with current market data for more than 1,000 industry sectors.

ERI’s Assessor Series® – Solutions for every compensation decision

Try a FREE DemoRequest a Guided Tour