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457(b) And 401(k) Combined Limit

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I am contributing to BOTH a government 457(b) plan and a private company 401(k) plan. I have two questions that would like someone to clariify:

 

(1) What is my TOTAL COMBINED limit? $15,500, or $31,000?

(2) If the answer to question (1) is $31,000, does the 50+ catch-up amount of $5000 apply to each plan, thus making the total catch-up to be $10,000?

 

If possible, would someone answer the questions with approprite IRS document links referenced?

 

TIA

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(1) What is my TOTAL COMBINED limit? $15,500, or $31,000?

Without regard to catch-up, it is $31,000.

 

(2) If the answer to question (1) is $31,000, does the 50+ catch-up amount of $5000 apply to each plan, thus making the total catch-up to be $10,000?

Assuming the 457(b) has the $5,000 catch-up provision and assuming the 410(k) plan allows catch-up deferrals, then the $5,000 catch-up is an option for both plans (and because your 457(b) is sponsored by a government), for a total of $10,000 overall. (without regard to the special normal retirement age catch-up).

 

If possible, would someone answer the questions with approprite IRS document links referenced?

 

Treasury Regulation 1.457-4(c )(2) talks about the 457(b) catch-up.

Treasury Regulation 1.414(v)-1 provides additional details.

Treasury Regulation 1.414(v)-1(f) discusses multiple plan issues, particularly:

 

 

(f) Special rules for an employer that sponsors multiple plans

 

 

 

(1) General rule. --For purposes of paragraph (c ) of this section, all applicable employer plans, other than section 457 eligible governmental plans, maintained by the same employer are treated as one plan and all section 457 eligible governmental plans maintained by the same employer are treated as one plan. Thus, the total amount of catch-up contributions under all applicable employer plans of an employer (other than section 457 eligible governmental plans) is limited to the applicable dollar catch-up limit for the taxable year, and the total amount of catch-up contributions for all section 457 eligible governmental plans of an employer is limited to the applicable dollar catch-up limit for the taxable year.

Hope this helps!

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