2013 401(k), IRA and Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

Great news! The IRS has announced their new retirement plan contribution limits for 2013 and they actually increased this year! If you already max out your retirement accounts you can contribute a bit more this year. If you hadn’t quite got to maxing your retirement accounts out yet it might be a bit of a disappointment. Don’t let it be. It is now just a bigger goal to shoot for!

So what are the new limits and how much have they increased from the 2012 limits?

2013 IRA Limits

The limit on IRAs has increased from $5,000 in 2012 to $5,500 in 2013 for both traditional and Roth accounts. The catch up contribution remains the same at $1,000 for those age 50 and older.

*Sidebar!* I just found out IRA doesn’t stand for individual retirement account… it stands for individual retirement arrangement!

So what does this mean if you want to max out your IRA? See the chart below for the amount needed per pay period to max out your IRA.

2013 401(k), 403(b), TSP and Most 457 Plan Limits

The limit on 401(k)s, 403(b)s, most 457 plans and TSPs (Thrift Savings Plans) has increased from $17,000 in 2012 to $17,500 in 2013. Unfortunately, the catch up contributions for employees 50 and older didn’t change and is still $5,500 for 2013.

So what does this mean if you want to max out your 401(k) or other similar plan? See the chart below for the amount needed per pay period to max out your 401(k) or other similar plan.

While I have covered the main types of accounts most people have heard of there are many other pension plan limits that have changed and the IRS has a complete list of them here. You’d be surprised how many different types of plans exist.

Save for Retirement

It is definitely nice to max out a retirement account but it isn’t necessary if you can’t do it right now. I currently max out my Roth IRA but haven’t yet  maxed out my Roth 401(k).

The key is to start saving and to save as much as you can. I personally don’t want to be like the masses the media constantly talks about. I want to be prepared for retirement and that means manning up and saving money instead of spending it.

These types of accounts are here to help you by giving your money a tax advantaged status. Do not allow these great opportunities to pass you by. Take advantage and you’ll be happy later.

There is another thing to consider if you want to retire early. In general, in order to withdraw from these types of accounts you must be over a certain age or you will have to pay taxes and penalties on your withdrawals.  If you want to retire before that age you must have access to money that won’t be penalized and you might need to invest in a taxable investment account to cover the years before you reach that retirement age.

 Do you max out your retirement accounts?

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Its good to see increase in limits in nearly all categories. With the taxes going up, we need more ways to shelter our money from taxes and build savings for retirement.

  2. Nate Fancher says:

    Fantastic! Nice to know that Uncle Sam is letting us save more.

  3. Excellent coverage! I wish the limits were more. A 500 bump for IRA seems kinda low.

  4. Good to know! I have to check into whether or not they’ve upped the limits on SEP’s. I’m assuming they have, but you never know.

  5. Glad to know that! I can’t wait to start pumping $5,500 into my Roth IRA once I’m DEBT FREE homey!

  6. I didn’t know about this, cool! Not sure my wife and me can acheive more money into our IRA, but it’s cool that we can if we want!

  7. We haven’t been able to max out our retirement accounts as we’ve been focused on repaying our debts and accomplishing a few other goals. Depending on how things turn out as far as my income is concerned, we may start contributing to Roths for the first time in 2013! Up to this point we’ve only contributed to my wife’s Roth 401k.

  8. I’m pumped! That just means more money for me to stash away and hide from taxes. I’m going all in.

    “*Sidebar!* I just found out IRA doesn’t stand for individual retirement account… it stands for individual retirement arrangement!”

    I saw that in Wikipedia also. Crazy …..

  9. The short answer is yes! I max out my 403B, IRA and Roth IRA. I love tax deferred or tax free savings. It is so easy once you set it up.

  10. That’s exciting that the Roth went up. Thanks for the table. We plan to max out the Roth for sure and we’ll see if we can do the 401 K

  11. This is great news! Jeff and I are really going to start cracking down on retirement savings once we are out of consumer debt. Right now, we are contributing 5% to a 401k, but that’s it.

  12. Hmm. The tax-free investment limits seem quite low to me – I think in the UK you can invest almost all your income tax free and/or retire once you are 50 (if you can afford it). Some people bed-and-breakfast large lump sums in their final year of working, although annuity rates are so low now.

    It is clearly the season for retirement planning – except I don’t plan to retire!

  13. I’m glad to know that I can sock away an extra $1K next year between my 401K and IRA. I’m in catchup mode and every little bit helps!

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