2019 Brings New Limits to Retirement Accounts

In 2019, the IRS actually brings good news to the retirement savers of the world:  You can save more for retirement than in years past.  The limits for the following accounts increased: IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE IRA, and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).  Savers over 50 will still be eligible for a catch-up allowance.


This is welcome news as IRA contribution limits have remained consistent since 2013.  401(k) accounts saw a $500 increase last year, but had remained flat from 2015-2017.  You can earn more while remaining eligible to make Roth IRA contributions.

New Retirement Savings Limits for 2019

In summary, you may contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA ($7,000 if you are age 50 or older).  You may contribute $19,000 to an employer sponsored retirement account, i.e. 401(k), 403(b), or SAR-SEP ($25,000 if you are age 50 or older).  Remember, to be eligible for the catch-up allowance, you need to turn 50 this calendar year.  If you are 49 now, but turn 50 in November, you are eligible for the full catch-up provision for the entire year.


A break down of changes are as follows:


The defined contribution plan limits (401(k), 403(b)) increases from $55,000 to the lesser of $56,000 or 100% of compensation (this includes employee and employer contributions).


We’re a big fan of Health Savings Accounts here at WealthPoint as they are often triple-tax advantaged.  See fellow advisor Josh Bentz’s post on why we think you should invest your HSA for retirement and pay for healthcare expenses out of current cash flow: https://wealthpointadv.com/why-you-should-care-about-health-savings-accounts-hsas/.


Lastly, the income phase-out range for making Roth IRA contributions has increased.  Taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) under the lower end of the ranges shown below can make a full Roth IRA contribution.  If you are in the range, you will only be able to contribute a portion of the $6,000 max.  These limits do not apply to making Roth 401(k) contributions, if your employer allows it.


If you plan to save the max to your employer sponsored plan this year, be sure to review and potentially change your payroll deferral percentages.  Also, if you turn the big 5-0 this year, don’t forget about the catch-up provisions.


Happy New Year and Happy Savings!

About the Author: Alex Perkins

Alex is a Wealth Advisor for WealthPoint Advisors, LLC. After a successful career in management consulting where he helped business executives solve their corporate challenges, he decided to pursue a passion in helping families and individuals on the personal side. Alex now enjoys helping his clients answer their most pressing financial and life questions, through a comprehensive, evidence-based wealth management approach.