Good News: The IRS Has Increased Retirement Contribution Limits

Do a quick Google News search for retirement planning and much of what you’ll find is frankly dismal—studies suggesting that many Americans fail to plan well for their own financial futures. Every now and then, though, there is some genuinely good news on the retirement planning front, and we’re pleased to report some today: The IRS has increased the amount of money you’re allowed to save in your tax-deferred retirement accounts, effective starting next year.

This is, truthfully, not totally out of the blue. From time to time the IRS does this, boosting contribution limits to reflect cost-of-living increases. Still, for those who are eager to save even more for retirement, and have the means to do it, this is certainly a pleasant and meaningful development. The question is, which retirement accounts are actually impacted by these changes?

What’s Affected, What’s Not

The new IRS guideline affects those who save in 401 (k), 403 (b), and most 457 accounts, as well as the Thrift Savings Plan offered by the federal government. The IRS has increased contribution limits by a total of $500, bumping the number up to $18,000. Additionally, the IRS has bumped up the catch-up contribution limit for employees over 50 from $5,500 to a round $6,000.

That’s what’s affected by these changes—but what’s not? Sadly, those who save in IRAs will not see any change from this. IRA contribution and catch-up contribution limits will remain the same in 2015, holding steady at $5,500 and $1,000, respectively. For workers over 50, in other words, the most you can set aside for retirement in a single year, using these accounts, is $6,500.

Retirement Planning is Ever-Shifting

If this all sounds fairly minor, it’s worth noting that last year’s contribution limits were not changed at all—so at least it’s something! Additionally, it follows an IRS announcement that Social Security benefits will be increased by a small amount, also reflective of cost of living increases.

More than anything, all of this points to the basic reality that retirement planning is ever in flux—and that it’s important to review and revise your plans frequently. To learn more about doing so, we invite you to contact the Stonepath Wealth Management team today!