2021 Retirement Plan Limits



Maximum Elective Deferrals to §401(k), §403(b), and §457(b) Plans



Maximum Catch-up Elective Deferrals to Plans other than SIMPLE Plans (age 50 by the end of the year)



Section 415 Limits

Defined Contribution Plan Annual Addition Maximum

Defined Benefit Plan Dollar Maximum





Annual Compensation Limit under §§401(a)(17), 404(l) and 408(k)



§414(q) Highly Compensated Employee definition



§416(i) Top-Heavy Compensation – Used to determine officers as key employees



§409(o) Maximum ESOP Account Balance Subject to 5-Year Distribution Period



ESOP Amount Used to Determine Extensions of the 5-Year Distribution Period



§408A Maximum Roth IRA Contribution (AGI Limit)

   Married Filing Joint Return or Qualifying Widower

   All other Taxpayers (other than married filing separately)





*Increased Amount for 2021

Social Security Tax and Wage Base

On October 13, 2020, the Social Security Administration announced that the 2021 social security taxable wage base will be $142,800, which is an increase of $5,100 from $137,700 for the 2020 calendar year. 

Medicare Tax

The regular Medicare tax rate of 1.45% remains unchanged and applies to all income without a limitation for both the employee and employer portion. The Affordable Care Act additional Medicare tax of 0.9% remains unchanged. The additional Medicare tax applies to wages, other compensation, and self-employment income over certain dollar thresholds ($200,000 for single and $250,000 for married filing jointly). The additional Medicare tax only applies to the employee and not the employer. IRS regulations require an employer to withhold the additional Medicare tax on wages or compensation it pays to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.