Contribution Limits and Deadlines for Retirement Plans to Ring in 2018

This year is almost over, with only a few months to go until we ring in 2018. While those of us at Advanta IRA have no desire to make time fly more than it already does, there are some contribution limits and retirement plan deadlines you need to know. This information will help you wrap up 2017 and move into 2018 with solid dates plan limits you need to know to make the most out of your retirement account.

Invest your money before the retirement contribution deadlineSome of these deadlines have passed for this year such as the date to open a SIMPLE IRA, which was October 1 to count for this year. However, use this guide to start planning and budgeting for next year to meet your retirement-planning goals. It’s never too late to revisit and revitalize your savings plan or your intentions to secure a successful financial future.

Listed below are all retirement accounts that can be self-directed, including opening deadlines and contribution limits for each as set forth by the IRS. If you’re interested in learning how you can control your own retirement funds and choose your own investments, view these plans in detail by visiting the Self-Directed Plans page on our website.

Please note: April 15 is typically the deadline for filing taxes every year and as a standard we reference that date in the information below. However, this year April 15 falls on a weekend and Monday is a holiday (Emancipation Day) celebrated in Washington, D.C., April 17, 2018, is the deadline for filing your 2017 taxes.

Traditional and Roth IRAs

  • Both traditional and Roth IRAs must be opened and funded by April 15 of the following year in order to count on current year’s tax return.
  • The annual contribution limit for both plans is $5500 or $6500 if you’re 50 years of age or older.


  • The deadline to open a SIMPLE IRA is October 1 in the current year. You’ve missed that date for 2017, but to establish a SIMPLE IRA next year, you must do so by October 1, 2018.
  • Employee contributions must be deferred from your compensation and contributed to the IRA by December 31.
  • Employer contributions must be made by the date of filing your return. If you filed an extension, the employer portion can be extended, as well, but must be made before the date you file your return.
  • Employee contribution limits are $12,500 or $15,500 if you’re 50 or older.
  • The Employer contributions are limited to between 1-3% of an employee’s annual compensation.


  • There is no specific date to open or fund a SEP IRA, other than doing so must occur before you file your tax return.
  • If you file an extension, you gain even more time to open and fund the account, provided that this occurs before the due date of your tax return. For example, for a 2017 SEP contribution, you would have potentially until October 15, 2018 to open the SEP and make the contributions.
  • Contributions cannot exceed 25% of your compensation or $55,000 (whichever amount is lesser).

Individual 401(k) Plans

  • Individual or solo 401(k) plans must be established by December 31.
  • Employee contributions (salary deferrals) should be withheld and contributed to the plan no later than January 31st of the following year.
  • Employer contributions (profit-sharing matches) are due by the date you file your return, which includes any extensions.
  • The annual contribution limit for salary deferrals is $18,500, but if you’re 50 or older that total rises to $24,500.
  • If your plan involves a profit sharing match, you, as the employer, can contribute up to 25% of your compensation, or 25% of your income if you’re self-employed.
  • Your total contributions (salary deferral plus profit sharing match) caps out at a limit of $55,000, or $61,000 if you’ve reached the age of 50 or older.

Each year the IRS revisits contribution limits and sometimes adjusts some of the limits. Please note that for 2018, the individual(k) plan above enjoys an increase while the rest of theses retirement plans remain the same as for 2017.

Understanding the contribution limits of your retirement plans is just as important as choosing the right plan for you. The information we are provided above is meant to be a guideline for you, but you should always consult your tax advisor or other financial advisor to ensure your transactions are in compliance with IRS rules and regulations.

If you have questions about this article or wish to learn more about self-directed IRAs, please contact Advanta IRA. by calling (800) 425-0653. We are happy to answer questions you may have pertaining to self-directed accounts and the rules that govern them.

This article was published on November 2, 2016, but has been updated with current information regarding 2018 contribution limits and other deadlines. 

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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.