[Updated with 2012 details] 2012 tax advantaged retirement plan contribution limits have officially been released by the IRS, with slight increases over 2011 limits; due mainly to cost of living adjustments (COLA). Further with increases in income phase-out thresholds, more people can benefit from employer and self-managed retirement plans. The table below summarizes key changes between 2012 and 2011:
Notable changes in 2012 include:
- The contribution limit for 401k, 403b, most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) increases from $16,500 to $17,000. The catch-up contribution limit for those aged 50+ remains unchanged at $5,500. Roth IRA contribution limits also remain the same at $5,000, with a $1,000 catchup for those over 50 (so total contribution = $6,000 for those over 50)
- For workers already covered by an employer sponsored retirement plan (401k, 403b), contributions to a self-managed IRA plan are only tax deductible if their adjusted gross income (AGI) is between $58,000 and $68,000, up from $56,000 and $66,000 in 2011. For married couples, where the spouse is makes a contribution to an IRA plan and is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the income phase-out range is $92,000 to $112,000, up from $90,000 to $110,000.
- For an IRA contributor who is not covered by a workplace retirement plan and is married to someone who is covered, the deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is between $173,000 and $183,000, up from $169,000 and $179,000.
- The AGI phase-out range for joint/married taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $173,000 to $183,000 for, up from $169,000 to $179,000 in 2011. For singles and heads of household, the income phase-out range is $110,000 to $125,000, up from $107,000 to $122,000. For a married individual filing a separate return who is covered by a retirement plan at work, the phase-out range remains $0 to $10,000.
- Contribution limits for SIMPLE IRA and 401K retirement accounts remains unchanged at $11,500 (minimum income requirement of $500 remains in place). The additional catch up contribution for those over 50, also stays the same at $2,500.
- The maximum combined employer and employee contributions to all defined contribution plans increased to $50,000 (vs 49,000 in 2011)
Most of the contribution and deduction rules for 401K and IRA type plans will stay the same. IRA to Roth IRA conversions, irrespective of income, will still be allowed but the multi-year pay back and roll-back option may not be available.