What are 401k Contribution Limits for 2024?

The 401k contribution limits are increasing in 2024 to allow participants to save more for retirement in these employer-sponsored plans. The IRS announced the new limits in October 2023, giving employers and payroll companies time to update their systems.

Understanding the new limits can help you maximize your 401k contributions for 2024.

What are the 401k Contribution Limits for 2024?

The elective deferral (employee contribution) limit for 401k Contribution, 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increasing from $22,500 to $23,000 in 2024. This means participants can contribute up to $23,000 of their salary into a 401(k) or similar plan next year.

The total contribution limit (including both employee and employer contributions) is increasing from $66,000 to $68,000 for those under age 50. For participants aged 50 and over, the catch-up contribution limit remains $7,500 on top of the regular total limit. So the total limit for 401k Contribution participants 50+ will be $75,500 in 2024.

The income ranges for determining deduction eligibility of traditional IRA contributions will increase slightly in 2024 to account for inflation. The phase-out range for deducting traditional IRA contributions for those covered by a workplace plan will be $78,000 to $88,000 for singles and heads of households (up from $68,000-$78,000 in 2023). For married couples filing jointly, in which the spouse making the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace plan, the phase-out range will be $109,000 to $129,000 (up from $109,000 to $129,000).

Why Are the 401k Contribution Limits Increasing?

The IRS typically increases the contribution limits every year to allow for inflation. This helps participants’ contributions keep up with the rising cost of living over time. While not a huge increase, the slightly higher limit does allow savers to set aside more money on a tax-advantaged basis for retirement in 2024. Every little bit counts when saving for retirement that may last 30 years or longer.

It’s important to note that the new limits represent the maximum that can be contributed across all 401(k) accounts if you change jobs during the year. The limit applies to your total employee elective deferrals regardless of how many employers you work for over the course of the year.

Catch-Up Contributions for Savers 50 and Over

Participants aged 50 and over in 2024 can make an extra “catch-up” contribution of up to $7,500 to 401(k) and similar plans beyond the regular contribution limit. This allows older savers nearing retirement to set aside more in their final working years leading up to retirement. In total for 2024, participants 50+ can contribute up to $30,500 to a 401(k) or similar plan.

The catch-up contribution limit provides extra flexibility for those aged 50+ to save more on a tax-advantaged basis. This can be especially helpful for those who may not have always contributed up to the max earlier in their careers or who want to boost their savings leading into retirement. Taking advantage of catch-up contributions in your 50s and 60s can make a big difference in your final retirement nest egg.

Employer Matching Contributions

With the total 401k contribution limit increasing to $68,000 in 2024, employers can match employee contributions up to that level. Employer matching is one of the best features of 401(k) plans, as it’s essentially free money added to your account.

Most employers match somewhere between 3-6% of your income when you contribute that amount out of your own paycheck into the 401(k) plan. Be sure to contribute at least enough to max out any matching funds from your employer. If you don’t, you’re essentially leaving part of your compensation on the table.

The $68,000 total limit applies to combined employee elective deferrals plus any matching contributions from the employer.

IRA Contribution Limits Increased

The income limits associated with tax deductibility of IRA contributions are also increasing for 2024. If you or your spouse actively participates in a workplace retirement plan like a 401(k), you may not be able to take a full tax deduction on a traditional IRA contribution, depending on your income.

In 2024, the IRA deductibility phase-out range for active participants in workplace plans will be:

  • $78,000 to $88,000 for single/head of household filers (up from $68,000-$78,000 in 2023)
  • $109,000 to $129,000 for married joint filers where the spouse making the contribution participates in a workplace plan (up from $109,000 to $129,000 in 2023)

If you are not covered by a workplace retirement plan but your spouse is, the 2024 phase-out range is $218,000 to $228,000 in modified adjusted gross income (up from $204,000 to $214,000 in 2023).

Even if your income exceeds the deductibility limits, you can still contribute to a traditional IRA, but the contributions will not be tax deductible. Alternatively, higher income earners can always contribute to a Roth IRA instead, where contribution eligibility is not dependent on income limits like deducting traditional IRA contributions.

The IRA catch-up contribution limit for savers 50 and over remains $1,000 in 2024, same as the 2023 level. In total, IRA participants aged 50+ can contribute up to $7,000 across all IRAs in 2024.

Strategies to Use Increased Limits

Here are some strategies to consider with the increased 401(k) and IRA contribution limits for 2024:

  • Contribute to a 401(k) early in the year – Front-load your contributions to take full advantage of tax-deferred investment compounding returns for the whole year.
  • Increase automatic contribution rate – Bump up your automatic payroll deduction contribution rate to help hit the new higher contribution limit for the year.
  • Contribute bonus/tax refund – Use your annual bonus or tax refund for additional 401k contributions beyond your regular paycheck deductions.
  • Catch up if age 50+ – Take advantage of the $7,500 catch-up contribution limit for those 50 and over. Time is limited to use catch-up contributions leading up to retirement.
  • Weigh deductibility before funding an IRA – Carefully assess if you’ll qualify for full or partial IRA deduction before contributing. Pay attention to income limits.
  • Backdoor Roth IRA – If over the income limits for Roth IRA contributions, consider executing the “Backdoor Roth IRA” strategy to get money into this tax-free account.

The increased 401(k) and IRA contribution limits for 2024 allow savers to put away more money on a tax-advantaged basis towards retirement. Use the new limits as motivation to boost your retirement contributions.


The IRS increased 401(k) plan and IRA contribution limits for 2024 to account for inflation. The elective deferral limit for 401(k)s and similar plans is increasing $500 to $23,000 next year. Older savers aged 50 and over can contribute an extra $7,500 as a “catch-up” contribution. Total contribution limits to accounts like 401(k)s and 403(b)s will be $68,000, with an additional $7,500 catch-up for those 50+ to equal $75,500.

IRAs also saw slight increases to the income ranges that determine deductibility of contributions. Strategically planning to contribute more to retirement accounts can help savers take advantage of more tax-preferred space for retirement investments in 2024.

FAQs Related to the 401k contribution limits for 2024

What is the 401(k) elective deferral limit for 2024?

The elective deferral (employee contribution) limit for 401(k) plans in 2024 is increasing to $23,000, up from $22,500 in 2023. This limit applies to a participant’s combined employee contributions across all 401(k), 403(b), SARSEP and most 457 plans.

What is the catch-up contribution limit for participants 50 and over?

The catch-up contribution limit for 401(k) plan participants aged 50 and over remains unchanged at $7,500 for 2024. This is in addition to the regular $23,000 elective deferral limit for a total possible contribution of $30,500 by participants 50+.

What is the total 401k contribution limit including employer contributions for 2024?

The total contribution limit to 401(k), 403(b), SARSEP and most 457 plans is increasing to $68,000 in 2024, up from $66,000 in 2023. This overall limit applies to combined employee pre-tax, Roth and employer matching contributions.

What is the total 401k contribution limit for savers aged 50 and over in 2024?

With the $7,500 catch-up contribution, 401(k) participants aged 50+ can contribute up to $75,500 in 2024, between regular employee elective deferrals, employer contributions and catch-up contributions.

Can I contribute to multiple 401(k) plans in a year?

Yes, but the combined employee elective deferrals to all 401(k), 403(b), SARSEP and most 457 plans is still capped at $23,000 (plus $7,500 catch-up contributions if 50 or older). Contributions must be coordinated across plans.