Finance: Workers Can Save More in Retirement Accounts

By Kimberly Lankford, Kiplinger's Personal Finance | February 22nd, 2019

Financial guidance for your financial life


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Q: How much can I contribute to my IRA and 401(k) in 2019? What are the income limits to qualify for a Roth?

A: You’ll be able to contribute slightly more to your retirement savings in 2019. The contribution limit for a 401(k), 403(b), 457 plan or the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan rises from $18,500 to $19,000 in 2019. You can continue to contribute an extra $6,000 if you’re 50 or older.

IRA contribution limits (whether for traditional or Roth IRAs) are increasing for the first time since 2013, from $5,500 to $6,000 for 2019. You can continue to add an extra $1,000 catch-up contribution if you’re 50 or older.

The income limit to contribute to a Roth IRA increases slightly in 2019. Single filers and those filing as head of household can contribute the full amount to a Roth IRA if their modified adjusted gross income is less than $122,000, with the contribution amount gradually phasing out until their income reaches $137,000 (up $2,000 from 2018). Joint filers can contribute the full amount to a Roth if their modified adjusted gross income is less than $193,000, with the amount gradually phasing out until their income reaches $203,000 (up $4,000 from 2018).

Single taxpayers and head of household filers who are covered by a workplace retirement plan can deduct their traditional IRA contributions if their income is $64,000 or less, with the deduction gradually phasing out until their income reaches $74,000 (up $1,000 from 2018). For married joint filers, if the spouse putting money into the IRA is covered by a workplace retirement plan, contributions are fully deductible if income is $103,000 or less. Thereafter, the deduction phases out and disappears once income hits $123,000 (up $2,000 from 2018).

If you are not covered by a retirement plan at work but your spouse is, you can deduct your full contribution if your joint income is less than $193,000, with the deduction gradually phasing out until your income reaches $203,000. You can deduct your full traditional IRA contribution – no matter your income – if you are single or file as head of household and you are not covered by a retirement plan at work (or if you file jointly and neither you nor your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work).


Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit Kiplinger.com.

(c) 2018 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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