2011 Retirement 401K, IRA, Roth IRA Contribution Limits

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Every year around this time the IRS releases updated retirement contribution and tax bracket information for the coming year. We probably won’t see much by way of tax bracket information since Congress has its work cut out for it, but earlier this month they released contribution and deduction limits for retirement account contributions for 2011. As you’d expect, not much changed since inflation was minimal.

There were no changes to the contribution limits and some phaseouts saw their ranges increase slightly.

Traditional & Roth IRA

The contribution limits did not change for 2011 as compared to 2010. The limit if you are under 50 years of age is $5,000 or your taxable income, whichever is smaller. If you are over 50 years old, then you can contribute $6,000 or your taxable income, whichever is smaller. The extra $1,000 is known as a “catch up” amount.

The phaseouts for the Roth IRA have increased slightly. For married filing jointly, the phaseout starts at $169,000 and ends at $179,000. For married filing separately, if you’ve lived with your spouse at any time during the year, the range is still $0 and $10,000. For single filers, head of household, or other married filing separately, the range starts at $107,000 and ends at $122,000. As always, you can use this calculator to figure out your contribution limits.

401(k), 403(b)

The limits have not changed from 2010. Your contribution is limited to $16,500 if you are under 50 years of age and limited to $22,000 if you are over 50 years old.

Saver’s Credit

Finally, the saver’s credit saw its AGI limit increased to $56,500 for married filing jointly, to $42,375 for head of household, to $28,250 for married filing separately and single filers.

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “2011 Retirement 401K, IRA, Roth IRA Contribution Limits”

  1. Valerie says:

    What a bummer! I realize inflation is low and so this is completely fair and realistic…. but still bummed we can’t contribute more!

  2. zapeta says:

    Well, I wasn’t expecting any contribution limits to increase given inflation but its nice that the phaseouts are going to increase slightly.

  3. Peregrime Carruthers says:

    I think it’s best they didn’t raise the limit. I mean, with companies still not really giving raises and all, it would kind of be a slap in the face knowing you can contribute more but can’t afford to.

  4. live green says:

    What’s nice is that we can now just ignore the Roth-IRA contribution limits, well at least for the time being. With no limit income limits on a conversion to a Roth, you can just contribute to a non-deductible Traditional IRA and convert it immediately over to a Roth. You mentioned in previously in an article about doing Roth IRA conversions:

    Do you Jim or anybody else know how long the no income limit on Roth IRAs is supposed to last or is there no timeline currently? It just seems weird that the government has the income limits, yet we can now just get around them in a fairly simple manner.

  5. Greg says:

    What about the SIMPLE IRA? Is it still $11,500 like in 2010?

  6. Scott says:

    Wish there was no limit…I’d be a 50%-er. We just live simple here in Cali (we’re wierd here).

  7. live green says:

    The Roth income limits seem to be obsolete with the the conversion income limits being removed. You can now just contribute to a non-deductible IRa and covert it over to a Roth immediately. This seems a little weird that the government would have this obvious loophole, yet still maintain and update the Roth income limits.

    • jak says:

      I am confused. When I did my conversion in 2010, I had to calculate the ratio of total Ira’ balances deductible versus non deductible. They don’t let you convert just the amounts that were non-deductible. If you have been participating since you started working as I did, the ratio is pretty low – 20%. Fidelity and a tax advisor helped me.

  8. govenar says:

    I agree with live green. I did the contribute-to-non-deductible-traditional-then-convert-to-Roth thing in 2010 and I guess I’ll do the same in 2011 and later years. The $5000 limit is so low though that it’s almost not worth the effort; maybe that’s why they don’t care about the loophole.

  9. cyrilia says:

    I feel if contributed to my 401k after tax and company i invested lost most of my monies I shuold be allowd to take the balance without penalties

  10. Jan Henderson says:


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