Pension Plan Contribution Limits for 2019

This page is currently being updated for the 2019 Tax Year. Some information still applies to the 2018 Tax Year.

Pension plans, also called annuities, are a type of retirement plan, but they are not the same thing as a 401(k), an IRA, or other retirement plans.

The IRS announces cost of living adjustments for pension plan dollar limitations annually for each Tax Year. Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code provides for dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans, and requires that the IRS annually adjust these limits for inflation and increases in cost-of-living.

2018 and 2019 Dollar Amount Limits on Pension Plan Contributions

  • The limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan is $220,000. The limitation for 2019 is $225,000.
  • The limitation for defined contribution plans is $55,000. The limitation for 2019 is $56,000.
  • The limitation on the exclusion for elective deferrals is $18,500. The limitation for 2019 is $19,000.
  • The annual compensation limit is $275,000. The limit for 2019 is $280,000.
  • The dollar limitation concerning the definition of key employee in a "top-heavy" plan is $175,000.
  • The dollar amount for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan subject to a 5 year distribution period is $1,105,000. The dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the 5 year distribution period is $220,000.
  • The limitation used in the definition of highly compensated employee is $120,000.
  • The dollar limitation for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan other than a plan for individuals aged 50 or over is $6,000. This will remain at $6,000 for 2019.
  • The dollar limitation for catch-up contributions to an applicable employer plan for individuals aged 50 or over is $3,000. This will remain at $3,000 for 2019. 
  • The annual compensation limitation for eligible participants in certain governmental plans that, under the plan as in effect on July 1, 1993, allowed cost of living adjustments to the compensation limitation under the plan to be taken into account, is $405,000.
  • The compensation amount regarding simplified employee pensions (SEPs) is $600.
  • The limitation regarding SIMPLE retirement accounts is $12,500. The limitation for 2019 is $13,000.
  • The limitation on deferrals concerning deferred compensation plans of state and local governments and tax-exempt organizations is $18,500. The limitation for 2019 is $19,000.
  • The compensation amount concerning the definition of "control employee" for fringe benefit valuation purposes is $110,000 (or $220,000).
  • The adjusted gross income limitation for determining the retirement savings contribution credit (Saver's Credit) for taxpayers filing a joint return is $63,000. The AGI limit for 2019 is $64,000.
  • The adjusted gross income limitation for determining the retirement savings contribution credit (Saver's Credit) for taxpayers filing as head of household is $47,250. The AGI limit for 2019 is $48,000.
  • The adjusted gross income limitation for determining the retirement savings contribution credit (Saver's Credit) for all other taxpayers is $31,500. The AGI limit for 2019 is $32,000.
  • The deductible amount for an individual making qualified retirement contributions is $5,500. The deductible amount for 2019 is $6,000.
  • The applicable dollar amount for determining the deductible amount of an IRA contribution for taxpayers who are active participants filing a joint return or as a qualifying widow(er) is $101,000. The dollar amount for 2019 is $103,000. The applicable dollar amount for all other taxpayers (other than married taxpayers filing separate returns) is $63,000. The dollar amount for 2019 is $64,000. The applicable dollar amount for a taxpayer who is not an active participant but whose spouse is an active participant is $189,000. The dollar amount for 2019 is $193,000.
  • The adjusted gross income limitation for determining the maximum Roth IRA contribution for taxpayers filing a joint return or as a qualifying widow(er) is $189,000. The AGI limitation for 2019 is $193,000. The adjusted gross income limitation for all other taxpayers (other than married taxpayers filing separate returns) is $120,000. The AGI limitation for 2019 is $122,000.

Related Information about Pensions and Retirement Income