December 17, 2020

2021 contribution limits

Contribution maximums and other dollar limits are readjusted annually based on inflation.

The table below shows the allowable contribution amounts and dollar limits for 2021 and 2020.

Retirement plan contribution and dollar limits







401(k) deferrals (total traditional and Roth employee contributions)



Catch-up contributions



Annual additions limit for DC plans



Annual compensation limit



Lookback year† compensation for Highly Compensated Employees (HCEs)



Taxable wage base for Social Security



Taxable wage base for Medicare




* The DC annual additions limit is effective for limitation years ending in the calendar year.

† Use current lookback year compensation to determine HCEs for the following year. For example, use the 2020 lookback compensation to determine the HCEs for the plan year beginning in 2021.

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