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2015 Annual Qualified Retirement Plan Limitations

Oct 24, 2014 | Everything Else, Limits, Plan Sponsors

On October 23, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service announced1 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement related items for Tax Year 2015. Generally speaking, many of the pension plan limitations increased for 2015 because the rise in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment.

The following is a comparison of the 2014 and 2015 limitations:

Y2014 Y2015
Limit on Elective Deferrals $17,500 $18,000
Highly Compensated Employee Annual Income $115,000 $120,000
Defined Benefit Plan IRC §415 (b)(1)(A) Benefit Limit $210,000 $210,000
Defined Contribution Plan IRC §415(C)(1)(A) Dollar Limit $52,000 $53,000
Annual Compensation Limit §§401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C),408(k)(6)(D)(ii) $260,000 $265,000
Catch-up Contributions Limit for Workers Aged 50 or Older §414(v)(2)(B)(i) $5,500 $6,000
Key Employee Top Heavy Limit §416(i)(1)(A)(i) $170,000 $170,000
IRAs  for Individuals < 50 $5,500 $5,500
IRAs  for individuals >49 $6,500 $6,500
SIMPLE Retirement Accounts 408(p)(2) $12,000 $12,500

2015 Social Security Adjustments

On October 23, 2014, the Social Security Administration announced2that there is an increase in the cost of living adjustment (“COLA”).  The Social Security COLA is 1.7% for 2015.  For 2015:

  • The Social Security Taxable wage base will be $118,500 from 117,000.
  • The FICA tax (OASDI and Medicare) payable by both employees and employers remains 7.65% up to the taxable wage base.
  • The 1.45% Medicare tax continues to apply to all earnings.
  • An additional 0.9% of Medicare Tax applies to individuals with earned income of more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly).
  • The Social Security (OASDI) tax, assessed up to the taxable wage base, remains 6.2% for employers and 6.2% for employees.


  1. IRS-Announces-2015-Pension-Plan-Limitations.pdf
  2. http://www.socialsecurity.gov/news/press/factsheets/colafacts2015.html