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November 16, 2010
IRS Announces 2011 Pension Plan Limitations

The IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) applicable to dollar limitations for pension plans and other items for 2011. This year, many of the limitations will remain the same, or the inflation adjustments will be small.

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The 2011 elective deferral (contribution) limit will remain at $16,500 for employees who participate in section 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plans, as well as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan, according to the IRS. Among the other limits that will stay the same are those concerning the definition of a key employee in a top-heavy plan ($160,000) and the definition of a highly compensated employee ($110,000).

Increases will occur in:

  • the adjusted gross income limitation under Section 25(B)(b)(1)(A) for determining the retirement savings contribution credit for married taxpayers filing a joint return ($500 increase to $34,000), those filing as head of household ($325 increase to $25,500), and all other taxpayers ($250 jump to $17,000)
  • the applicable dollar amount for determining the deductible amount of an IRA contribution for taxpayers who are active participants filing a joint return or as a qualifying widow(er) ($1,000 increase to $90,000) and for a taxpayer who is not an active participant but whose spouse is ($2,000 hike to $169,000)
  • the limitation for determining the maximum Roth IRA contribution for married taxpayers filing a joint return or for taxpayers filing as a qualifying widow(er) ($2,000 increase to $169,000) and for all other taxpayers other than married taxpayers filing separate returns ($2,000 increase to $107,000)
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