2017 Contribution Limits for Retirement and Savings Plans

Out with the old and in with the new—that’s what new years are all about! In regards to retirement planning, the new year rings in new contribution limits from the IRS. And, the new 2017 contribution limits are out now, giving you a chance to start your retirement planning strategy when we ring in the new year.

Sometimes contribution limits change, but sometimes they don’t, and the factors are based on a few boringContribution limits for retirement and savings plans statistics like inflation and such that we aren’t going to bother you with. Why? Because all you really need to know is what the contribution limits are for 2017.


The 2017 contribution limits for traditional and Roth IRAs are the same as they have for the past five years. You can contribute $5,500 and a catch-up allowance of $1,000 if you’re 50 or older.

But, smile anyway because the IRS has given a little caveat here regarding both plans and phase-out limits.

Traditional IRAs: The taxpayer deduction income phase-out for traditional IRAs has risen in 2017. This enables singles and heads of household who are covered by a workplace retirement plan to have modified adjusted gross incomes (AGI) of between $62,000-$72,000. (For 2016 that phase out was $61,000-$71,000 AGI.) If you’re married and filing jointly—for the spouse who makes the IRA contribution and is covered by a workplace plan the phase-out is $99,000-$119,000 for 2017 (up from $98,000-$118,000 for 2016).

Phase outs for those who do not have a workplace retirement plan, but have a spouse who is covered, the deduction phases out at $186,000-$196,000 in 2017 (compared to $184,000-$194,000 in 2016). If you’re married and covered by a workplace plan, but filing separate income taxes, your phase-out remains the same in 2017 as it was in 2016: $0-$10,000.

Be advised that if your income exceeds the requirements for a tax-deductible contribution, that’s ok! You can (and should) still make a contribution to your traditional IRA, but it just won’t be a deductible event.

Roth IRAs: Contribution phase-outs for the Roth IRA have risen a bit here. In 2017, in order to contribute to this plan, the AGI phase-out for married/filing jointly is $186,000-$196,000. (It is $184,000-$194,000 for 2016.) If you’re single or head of household, that income limit has risen to $118,000-$133,000 for 2017 (compared to $117,000-$132,000 in 2016).


SEP IRA contribution limits increased a bit from the lesser of 25% of compensation or $53,000 in 2016 to the lesser of 25% of compensation or $54,000 in 2017. Every little bit counts so take advantage of this if you can!


The limit for SIMPLE IRAs is the same as in 2016: $12,500 with an additional allowance for $3,000 if you’re 50 or older. The employer match remains between 1-3% of the employee’s deferral; the employer non-elective contribution remains at 2% of the employee’s deferral. Nothing new here, but this is still a fantastic plan if you’re a small business and/or self-employed!


Employee deferral limits for 401(k) plans, including solo 401(k)s, remain the same for 2017 at $18,000 with at $6,000 catch-up contribution if you’re 50 or older. However, the total combined employee deferral plus profit sharing match is now $54,000 in 2017 if you’re under 50; $60,000 if you’re 50 or older. (For 2016 these limits were $53,000/$59,000.) Here again, the IRS has thrown you a bone! Make sure you take advantage of it and max out these annual limits if you can.


For health savings accounts, you get an additional $50 for a single plan, for a total of $3,400 in 2017. The family plan remains the same as it was in 2016: $6,750. Catch-up contributions for single and family plans are still $1,000 if you’re 55 years or older.


The education savings account annual limit is $2,000 per year, per child for 2017. So, it’s the same as it is for 2016.

So, there you have it, folks. Even if the contribution limits haven’t changed much, be thankful you’re able to contribute to any of the plans above. Saving is sometimes quite challenging and every dime we are able to sock away counts!

A little lagniappe: You can self-direct all of the above plans. Self-directed plans allow owners to choose their own investments to build income on a tax-sheltered basis. You can choose from an incredibly large pool of alternate investments that can boost the income in your portfolio.

About Scott Maurer

Scott Maurer, Vice President of Sales for Advanta IRA, is a recognized expert in the field of self-directed IRAs. With a law degree from the University of Florida and as a designated Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP), Scott’s keen understanding of rules and regulations fuels his passion to educate others on the power of investing in alternative assets using self-directed IRAs. Scott is a frequent guest on retirement and investing webinars and podcasts, and he has shown thousands of individuals how to achieve financial freedom by teaching them how to use their retirement funds to invest in private placements, real estate, private lending, and more. Throughout his two decades in the industry, he has watched numerous unique investments unfold, giving him great perspective of what is possible when people take control of their retirement funds and investing decisions.