How much can you contribute to an IRA in 2018?
- $5,500 for those age 49 and under
- $6,500 for those age 50 and older (use age at end of the calendar year)
These contribution amounts are the same as they have been for the past few years; however, the income limits that apply to determine if you can deduct all or some of the contribution amount have increased slightly.
Income Limitations When You - or a Spouse - Have a Company Sponsored Retirement Plan
If you and/or your spouse participate in a company sponsored retirement plan (such as 401(k) or Section 457), you can still make an IRA contribution – but -- it may not be deductible. Income limitations apply to determine if you can deduct your IRA contribution.
- For single filers who are covered by a company retirement plan in 2018, the deduction is phased out between $63,000 and $73,000 of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). (The 2017 limit was $62,000 - $72,000.)
- For married filers, if you are covered by a company retirement plan in 2018 the deduction is phased out between $101,000 and $121,000 of MAGI, a slight increase from the 2017 range of $99,000 - $119,000.
- For married filers where you are not covered by a company plan but your spouse is - in 2018, the deduction for your IRA contribution is phased out between $189,000 and $199,000 of MAGI,up from the 2016 limit of $186,000 - $196,000.
Note, a different set of income limitations applies to Roth contributions.
Non-Deductible IRA Contributions
Even if your IRA contribution is not deductible, you can still make a contribution.
It is called a non-deductible IRA contribution and the funds in the account will grow tax deferred until such time as you take a withdrawal.
Or, you may be eligible to make a full or partial Roth IRA contribution. Your total contributions to Roth and Traditional IRAs cannot exceed the dollar limits above, meaning you can contribute to both, such as $2,000 to a Traditional IRA and $3,500 to a Roth, but the total of both contributions can't exceed the maximum contribution amount.
IRA rollovers and transfers do not count as a "contribution" and so they will not affect your ability to fund an IRA.
Earned Income Rules for All IRA Contributions
You must have earned income to make an IRA contribution of any type. The amount of earned income you have must equal or exceed the amount of your IRA contribution. This means if you are retired and no longer working, you may not make an IRA contribution, although you can still rollover or transfer money from a 401(k) to an IRA.
Spousal IRA Contributions
You may make an IRA contribution for a non-working spouse who has no earned income, as long as you have enough earned income. This is called a spousal IRA contribution.
2018 IRA Contribution Deadlines
You have until April 15th of 2019 to make your 2018 IRA contribution.
Traditional IRA or Roth IRA?
Not sure which is best for you? There is no tax deduction for Roth IRA contributions but they have other features that make them one of the most useful retirement account options available.
Traditional IRA or HSA?
HSA stands for Health Savings Account. With a Health Savings Account, you can make a deductible contribution and the money grows tax-free if used for health care expenses. I think many people would benefit from funding an HSA instead of an IRA, as the HSA offers penalty-free access for qualified medical expenses. This allows the HSA to be used to accumulate funds for retirement while doing double duty as an emergency fund for medical expenses in the event you have no other available funds to use to pay for them.
IRA Limits Are Indexed to Inflation
IRA limits are tied to inflation but only go up in $500 increments. If the annual inflation adjustment would only be $150, it would take 4 years before the IRS raised the limit.
This information is not intended to be tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor.