IRS Announces 2022 Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Retirement Plans

The IRS recently announced the 2022 cost-of-living adjustments to various benefit and contribution limits applicable to retirement plans. Generally, the IRS increased the applicable limits for 2022, although certain limits remained unchanged. The following limits apply to retirement plans in 2022:

  • The limit on elective deferrals under 401(k), 403(b), and eligible 457(b) plans increased to $20,500.
  • The limit on additional catch-up contributions by participants age 50 or older remains unchanged at $6,500. This means that the maximum amount of elective deferral contributions for those participants in 2022 is $27,000.
  • The Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) Section 415 annual addition limit is increased to $61,000 for 401(k) and other defined contribution plans, and the annual benefit limit is increased to $245,000 for defined benefit plans.
  • The limit on the annual compensation that can be taken into account by qualified plans under Code Section 417 is increased to $305,000.
  • The dollar level threshold for becoming a highly compensated employee under Code Section 414(q) increased to $135,000 (which based on the look-back rule is applicable for HCE determinations in 2023 based on compensation in 2022).
  • The dollar level threshold for becoming a “key employee” in a top-heavy plan under Code Section 416(i)(1) is increased to $200,000.

We have compiled a chart summarizing the key limits below, including how they compare with those in the previous year. For a printable version of the chart, please click here.

Compensation and Benefits Limits

2022 2021 2020
401(k)/403(b) Plan Deferral Limit $20,500 $19,500 $19,500
Catch-Up Contributions (401(k), 403(b) & Governmental 457(b) Plans) $6,500 $6,500 $6,500
Defined Contribution Dollar Limit $61,000 $58,000 $57,000
Defined Benefit Dollar Limit $245,000 $230,000 $230,000
Pay Threshold for Determining Highly Compensated Employee $135,000 (for determinations in 2023) $130,000 (for determinations in 2022) $130,000 (for determinations in 2021)
Annual Compensation Limit $305,000 $290,000 $285,000
457(b) Plan Deferral Limit $20,500 $19,500 $19,500
Social Security Taxable Wage Base $147,000 $142,800 $137,700

Contact your Faegre Drinker benefits attorney with questions or for assistance with implementing the new retirement plan limits.