On October 21, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the new 401k plan limits for 2023 in Notice 2022-551, showing a significant jump over previous years’ cost-of-living increases. Retirement plan industry experts note that the significant 401k plan increases for 2023 are a direct result of current inflation rates.

Highlights of 401k Cost-of-Living Increases

401k Plan Limits 2022 2023Difference 
Maximum employee elective deferral (for ages 49 and younger)$20,500 $22,500 +$2,000 
Employee catch-up contributions (for ages 50 and older)$6,500$7,500 +$1,000 
Maximum employee elective deferral (for ages 50 and older)$27,000 $30,000 +$3,000 
Maximum employer + employee limit (for ages 49 or younger)$61,000 $66,000 +$5,000 
Maximum employer + employee limit (for ages 50 and older)$67,500 $73,500 +$6,000 
Maximum employee compensation limit$305,000 $330,000 +$25,000 
Highly Compensated Employee Compensation Limitation$135,000 $150,000 +15,000 

Details on other retirement-related cost-of-living adjustments for 2023 can be found in IRS Notice 2022-552.

Additional Employer Considerations

  • Employee elective deferrals, including both pre-tax and Roth contributions, must aggregated for the purpose of applying the maximum employee elective deferral and catch-up contributions (where applicable).
  • Employee catch-up contributions are available to employees aged 50 or older during the plan year.
  • All compensation from a single employer (including all members of a controlled group) must be aggregated.

Employer Next Steps

As employers prepare for the 2023 plan year, they should ensure any plan materials and participant communications reflect these new limits. Additionally, employers will want to confirm that their 401k plans comply with these limits when processing contributions and testing for discrimination issues, where applicable.

Additional Resources

  1. Internal Revenue Service. Notice 2022-55, 2023 Limitation Adjusted as Provided in Section 415(d), etc. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-22-55.pdf
  2. Id.
  3. Id.

Pensionmark Financial Group, LLC (“Pensionmark”) is an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Pensionmark is affiliated through common ownership with Pensionmark Securities, LLC (member SIPC).

DISCLAIMER: This communication is intended for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable to your situation. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with legal counsel and/or a tax professional.  

Jenny Kiesewetter — Jenny is a Retirement Plan Compliance Consultant for Sequoia, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline retirement plan compliance. In her free time, Jenny enjoys spending time with her friends and family, traveling, live music, and dining out.