401k limits: First conceived in the late 1970s as a dark to the tax code that allows the deferral of taxes on the deferred tax addition, the 401k plan has become a staple of retirement savings of millions of Americans. Congress has set 401k limits contributions over the years to prevent executives an exemption from income tax too much. Congress also built a number of incentives in the 401k program to encourage executives to extend the benefits of the common 401k and-file workers and to enroll as many of them as possible.
Congress originally created the 401k in 1978 when a section of the Internal Revenue Code that allows employees to defer income taxes on earnings to postpone taking place directly added. The law came into force in 1980, and the plan proved to be extremely popular: More than half of large companies offer 401k salary deferral programs within three years. Some organizations, such as the Pension Rights Center, have criticized the growth of 401k programs, arguing that weaken the strength of traditional pension plans.
From the business point of view, a generous 401k plan with a round of competitive business, can be an important part of an employee benefits package. From the point of view of employees, the 401k plan allows them to save large amounts of retirement on a tax-advantaged basis of an agreement that could Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Roth IRA alone. 401k plans also provide a degree of protection against the claims of creditors, because the law exempts reasonable retirement accounts from the award to them in judgments.
401k plans come in different forms: Roth 401k is funded with after-tax dollars, but the tax-free compound and allow tax-free withdrawals once you reach age 59 1/2. Safe Harbor 401ks are participants directed 401k (where plan participants direct the investment of their funds). With trust run by 401k, the employer appoints an investment manager to monitor employee contributions.
From 2010, the maximum employee contribution limit was $ 16,500. Contribution limits in the coming years will be indexed to inflation. Employees over 50, however, can make catch-up contributions of up to $ 5,500 each, in addition to the standard contribution limit. If you accidentally contribute too, should remove excess April 15 the following year.
Congress expressed concern about corporations not extend the benefits of deferred salary and contributions equivalent to their low wages, rank and file employees, and imposed strict anti-discrimination clauses limiting the ability of highly compensated employees (HCES) contribute less than workers involved in the plans. Known as top-hat provisions, the standards define the highly compensated employees who earn more than $ 100,000 or more like 5 percent of the company. The average percentage of postponement of HCE contributions may not exceed the lesser of the percentage of deferral of rank and file of more than 2 percent or 150 percent of the deferral of ordinary workers file. However, plan sponsors can be exempted if they adopt the safe harbor, such as matching employee contributions and the immediate availability of 100 percent of the finality.