2020 vs. 2021 retirement plan limits

Type of limitation
2020 limit 2021 limit
Elective deferrals to 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans $19,500 $19,500
Annual benefit for defined benefit plans $230,000 $230,000
Contributions to defined contribution plans $57,000 $58,000
Contributions to SIMPLEs $13,500 $13,500
Contributions to IRAs $6,000 $6,000
Catch-up contributions to 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans $6,500 $6,500
Catch-up contributions to SIMPLEs $3,000 $3,000
Catch-up contributions to IRAs $1,000 $1,000
Compensation limit for benefit purposes for qualified plans and SEPs $285,000 $290,000
Minimum compensation for SEP coverage $600 $650
Highly compensated employee threshold $130,000 $130,000
Minimum income for “key employee” status for top-heavy calculation $185,000 $185,000
Income subject to Social Security tax $137,700 $142,800


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