IRS Contribution Limits for 457(b) and 401(a) Plans

Understanding IRS contribution limits is important, especially when your goal is to contribute the maximum to your account. Even if you can’t do the max, consider increasing your contribution a little each year to potentially move closer to your retirement goals.

2022 deferral limits1

Standard 457(b) deferral
$20,500
Age 50+ catch-up for 457(b)
$6,500
Special 457(b) catch-up
up to $41,000

2021 deferral limits2

Standard 457(b) deferral
$19,500
Age 50+ catch-up for 457(b)
$6,500
Special 457(b) catch-up
up to $39,000

The Age 50+ Catch-up provision automatically allows people to contribute more to their 457(b) account starting in the year they will turn 50.

Participants who have not contributed the maximum contribution limit in the previous year may contribute an additional amount equal to or less than the current year maximum (up to double the maximum) in the three years prior to their normal retirement age.

Contribution Limits for 401(a) Plans

Within the first 90 calendar days of employment, County participants can irrevocably elect to contribute one of the following percentages of compensation to the 401(a) Incentive Retirement Deferred Compensation Plan: 2.5%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25%.

How much should I contribute?

If your goal is to contribute the standard 457(b) maximum, you would need to contribute $789 per biweekly paycheck ($20,500 for the calendar year).

To take advantage of the Age 50+ catch up, you could contribute up to $1,039 per biweekly paycheck ($27,000 for the year).

If you are eligible and wish to use the full Special 457(b) Catch-up provision, you could contribute up to $1,577 per biweekly paycheck ($41,000 for 2022).

Get the help you need

Talk with one of our retirement specialists for more information about planning for your retirement.

[1] IRS announces contribution limits for 2022
[2] IRS announces 2021 pension plan limitations
[3] Annual limit is the sum of both IRA Traditional and IRA Roth Contributions or your taxable compensation for the year, whichever is lower