2015 Retirement Plan Cost of Living Adjustments Announced by IRS

The IRS released the 2015 Cost of Living Adjustments for various limitations affecting retirement plans on October 23, 2014. The changes affect both qualified retirement plan and IRA contributions and benefits. Highlights of the 2015 adjustments include:

  • Maximum 401(k) contribution is increased to $18,000, and the catch-up limit (age 50+) is increased to $6,000, a total of $24,000 for seniors.
  • Maximum Profit Sharing Plan contribution is increased to $53,000.
  • Maximum Compensation that is considered to determine contributions and benefits is increased to $265,000.
  • Maximum IRA Deduction remains $5,500 + catch-up of $1,000 ($6,500 for seniors). Deduction for participants in an employer plan is reduced based on AGI. The AGI threshold is increased $1,000 for singles, and $2,000 for married couples, which allows the full deduction with AGI up to $61,000 for singles, and $183,000 for married couples

Other limitations that have significant impact on contributions and benefits have also been increased. A more detailed description may be found in the tables below.


2015 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Adjustments

Description Code Section 2015
Maximum Annual Payout from a Defined Benefit Plan 415(b)(1)(A) $210,000
Maximum Annual Contribution to a Defined Contribution Plan


415(c)(1)(A) $53,000
Maximum Elective Deferrals under §401(k) and §403(b) Plans


402(g) $18,000
Catch-up Contributions age 50 (401(k) & 403(b) Plans) 414(v)(2)(B)(i) $6,000
Catch-up Contributions age 50 (SIMPLE Plan) 414(v)(2)(B)(ii) $3,000
Maximum Annual Compensation Taken into Account for Benefits and Contributions under a Qualified Plan 401(a)(17) $265,000
Compensation Test – Highly Compensated Employee 414(q) $120,000
Compensation Test   – Key Employee (Top Heavy) 416(i)(1) $170,000
Government and Tax-Exempt Plans Deferral Limit 457(e)(15) $18,000
Maximum contribution to SIMPLE Retirement Account


408(p)(2) $12,500
Social Security Integration Level (Contribution and Benefit Base under §230 of Social Security Act) 401(l)(5) $118,500

2015 Cost of Living Adjustment to IRA Limitations

Description Code Section 2015
Maximum Deductible IRA Contribution 219(b)(1)(A) $5,500
Catch-up IRA Contributions age 50 or over 219(b)(5)(B) $1,000
Maximum Roth IRA Contribution

contribution is reduced for AGI>


408A(c)(2)(A) $5,500
Roth AGI threshold for married couples


408A(c)(3)(c)(B)(ii) $183,000
Roth IRA AGI threshold for all others 408A(c)(3)(c)(B)(ii) $116,000
Maximum contribution to SEP – lesser of 25% of Compensation or


415(c)(1)(A) $53,000
Minimum compensation for SEP coverage 408(k)(2) $600
Maximum compensation for SEP 408(k)(3) $265,000

THE DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION LIMIT IS REDUCED FOR ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN AN EMPLOYER SPONSORED RETIREMENT PLAN, BASED ON THE CONTRIBUTOR’S AGI. (Table below) In the case of married taxpayers filing jointly, if one spouse is an active participant, the reduction in the maximum contribution limit is calculated separately for the participant spouse and non-participant spouse.

Reduced Deduction for Active Participant in Employer Sponsored Plan


Single Married Filing Separately




for Seniors

Not an active participant No active participant Non active participant

< $183,000

Active participant(s)

< $98,000


Partial Active participant phase-out $61,000 to $71,000 Non-active participant


$183,000 to $193,000

Active participant(s)


$98,000 to $118,000


$0 to $10,000

None Active participant AGI over $71,000 Non active participant

> $193,000

Active participant(s)

> $118,000

AGI over $10,000

For more information call or e-mail Jeff Bragdon: 412-454-0233, jbragdon@williamscoulson.com

or Mike Lloyd: 412-454-0225, mlloyd@williamscoulson.com.