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Detailed 457(b) Plan Limits Information

Important Observation: The limitations on 457(b) plan contributions discussed on this page apply to 457(b) plans that involve age 50 catch-up, last 3-years catch-up, employer discretionary and/or matching, and Roth contributions. Your employer may or may not offer a 457(b) plan at all, and even if it does, its plan may or may not offer any or all of these optional features. To determine whether or not your employer offers a 457(b) plan and, if it does, what optional features are available, go to the Employee Information page and select your employer from the CCC Clients list. If your employer offers a 457(b) plan, there will be a 457(b) Sub-Menu in the light blue Employee Menu box at the top of the page, and you should click on the ‘457(b) Information’ link for additional information about the plan.

457(b) Contribution Limits for 2020

Executive Summary:

  • Under age 50 by 12/31/2020: Limit = $19,500.00
  • Age 50 by 12/31/2020: Limit = $26,000.00

Standard Contribution Limit

Basic Contribution Limit: Section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code imposes a dollar limit on the sum of employee elective deferrals and employer discretionary and/or matching contributions to 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plans (DCP). Elective deferrals are amounts deducted from pay based on salary reduction agreements and remitted to 457(b) vendors as Traditional (pre-tax) and/or Roth (post-tax) contributions. The standard 457(b) contribution limits through the years are shown in the right-hand column on this page.

Age 50 Catch-Up: The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) provided new extra elective deferral opportunities for older employees beginning in 2002. Participants who reach their 50th birthday by the end of a particular taxable year are eligible for additional elective deferrals as specified in the right-hand column of this page [IRC § 414(v)].

Last 3-Years Catch-up

The executive summary limits above MAY increase up to twice the standard increase up to twice the basic contribution limit ($39,000.00 for 2020) if 2020 is one of the three calendar years preceding normal retirement age. However, salary, service, and contribution data back through initial employment are required before additional deferrals are allowed under the last 3-years catch-up.

Participants nearing normal retirement age may make up some or all of any deferrals they did not make during previous years of eligibility. For these purposes, “normal retirement age” is chosen by the participant as any age between the later of actual retirement age or the age at which the participant is eligible for unreduced State Retirement Plan benefits and age 70½. Generally speaking, this “limited catch-up” provision allows a contribution of the amount in the above “standard” maximum contribution limits table plus the total of “underutilized contributions” in prior years, but not to exceed twice the “standard” maximum contribution table limit.

Employees who would wish to contribute above the standard limits and believe they have potential eligibility to utilize the last 3-years catch-up should contact CCC so we may collect the data necessary to preform an evaluation to determine eligibility. Determining your eligibility for the last 3-years catch-up provision may require that you provide historical W-2 Forms or year-end paycheck stubs.


Historical Contribution Limits

The standard 457(b) elective deferral and age 50 catch-up limits back through 1987 appear in the table below. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 introduced elective deferral limits for the first time.

Year Standard Limit Age 50 Limit
2020 $19,500.00 $6,500.00
2019 $19,000.00 $6,000.00
2018 $18,500.00 $6,000.00
2017 $18,000.00 $6,000.00
2016 $18,000.00 $6,000.00
2015 $18,000.00 $6,000.00
2014 $17,500.00 $5,500.00
2013 $17,500.00 $5,500.00
2012 $17,000.00 $5,500.00
2011 $16,500.00 $5,500.00
2010 $16,500.00 $5,500.00
2009 $16,500.00 $5,500.00
2008 $15,500.00 $5,000.00
2007 $15,500.00 $5,000.00
2006 $15,000.00 $5,000.00
2005 $14,000.00 $4,000.00
2004 $13,000.00 $3,000.00
2003 $12,000.00 $2,000.00
2002 $11,000.00 $1,000.00
2001 $8,500.00 N/A
2000 $8,000.00 N/A
1999 $8,000.00 N/A
1998 $8,000.00 N/A
1997 $7,500.00 N/A
1996 $7,500.00 N/A
1995 $7,500.00 N/A
1994 $7,500.00 N/A
1993 $7,500.00 N/A
1992 $7,500.00 N/A
1991 $7,500.00 N/A
1990 $7,500.00 N/A
1989 $7,500.00 N/A
1988 $7,500.00 N/A
1987 $7,500.00 N/A
1986 N/A N/A


Page Last Modified: 11/6/2019 1:32:51 PM