On October 23, 2014 the Treasury Department announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and retirement accounts for tax year 2015. The following is a summary of the changes that impact employees:
401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plans
- The elective deferral (contribution) limit increased from $17,500 to $18,000.
- The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in these plans increased from $5,500 to $6,000.
Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
- The limit on annual contributions remains unchanged at $5,500.
- The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $1,000.
Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs and Individual/Solo 401(k)s
- Elective deferrals increase from $52,000 in 2014 to $53,000 in 2015, based on an increased annual compensation limit of $265,000, up from $260,000 in 2014.
- The minimum compensation that may be required for participation in a SEP increases from $550 in 2014 to $600 in 2015.
SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) IRAs
- The contribution limit on SIMPLE IRA retirement accounts for 2015 is $12,500, up from $12,000 in 2014.
- The SIMPLE catch-up limit is $3,000, up from $2,500 in 2014.
Defined Benefit Plans
- The basic limitation on the annual benefits under a defined benefit plan is unchanged at $210,000.
- Highly-compensated and key employee thresholds: The threshold for determining “highly compensated employees” increases from $115,000 to $120,000 in 2015; the threshold for officers who are “key employees” remains at $170,000 for 2015.
- Social Security Cost of Living Announcement: In a separate announcement, the Social Security Administration increased the Taxable Wage Base from $117,000 in 2014 to $118,500.
- The maximum “Old Age, Survivor and Disability Insurance” (OASDI) tax will be $7,347 for both employers and employees; and
- Hospitalization Insurance (Medicare) tax continues to apply to all wages.