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Retirement Savings Contribution Limits

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Contributions to retirement savings plans are subject to annual limits under federal tax laws, which may change every Jan. 1.

Summary of 2022 Contribution Limits

Additional information and definitions follow the chart and are important for you to know.

Before-Tax Limit (includes before-tax TDA, before-tax CRA, plus Roth) $20,500
Before-Tax Age 50 and Over Catch-Up Limit $6,500
Total Contribution Limit $61,000
Compensation Limit $305,000
Social Security Wage Base $147,000
IRA Limit $6,000
IRA Age 50 and over Catch-Up Limit $1,000

View an overview of 2023 limits here

Additional Information on Limits

Contributions to retirement savings plans are subject to many annual limits under the Federal Internal Revenue Code. These limits include:

  • Before-tax (and Roth) contribution limits 
  • Total contribution limit
  • Annual compensation limit
  • Non-discrimination limit

These limits apply to contributions made to TDA, CRA and Roth accounts of the Stanford Contributory Retirement Plan (SCRP). Therefore, you can reach the annual limits several ways based on your:

  • TDA contributions alone
  • CRA contributions alone
  • Roth contributions alone
  • A combination of TDA, Roth and CRA contributions, or
  • Contributions to Stanford plans plus contributions to any other non-Stanford plans.

Important

Stanford reserves the right to stop or reduce contributions due to IRS limits, if Stanford notices that a limit has been reached. You are responsible for ensuring that your annual contributions do not exceed IRS limits. You are also responsible for monitoring your limits and paying any taxes, penalties or interest due as a result of excess contributions. If you have questions, contact the University HR Service Team or a tax advisor.

Before-Tax Contributions Limit

This limit includes before-tax contributions to the TDA and CRA, as well as the Roth 403(b) -- even though the Roth contributions are made on an after-tax basis. It does not apply to after-tax employee contributions in the CRA. This limit applies to all before-tax employee contributions you make this year to any employer savings plan under IRC Sections 403(b) and 401(k). If you worked for any other employer during the year, you are responsible for monitoring the annual limit.

Catch-Up Contributions

If you are age 50 or older, the before-tax limit includes an additional "catch-up" amount that may change each year.

Additionally, if you are a plan participant, have worked at Stanford for 15 years or more, and have not maximized your prior annual contributions, you may be able to increase your Total Contribution Limit by as much as $3,000, for up to five years. To see if you qualify for this special 15-year catch up:

  • Contact the University HR Service Team to request a special 15-year catch-up calculation.
  • The university will not allow you to contribute to this 15-year catch up without a catch-up limits calculation provided by Stanford Benefits.

Total Contribution Limit

The calendar-year limit on total contributions is either 100% of your compensation or $61,000, whichever is less, and may be adjusted each year by the IRS. This limit applies to the sum of:

Employee contributions to the TDA, Roth and CRA accounts of the SCRP plan, (excluding the Age 50 Catch-Up), plus Stanford matching and basic contributions to the SCRP.

Note: The total contribution limit also applies to any contributions you make to another tax-deferred annuity plan, a Keogh plan, or a qualified plan of an employer you control, such as a business you own.

Annual Compensation Limit

The IRS limits the maximum annual compensation on which qualified retirement benefits can be calculated. This annual compensation limit may be adjusted each year by the IRS.

If contributions stop because you reach the limit, they will automatically restart at the beginning of the next calendar year, as long as you are an eligible employee.

Non-Discrimination Limit

In accordance with IRS requirements, the plan must pass a non-discrimination test each year. This test ensures that after-tax contributions, basic contributions and matching contributions for higher-paid employees (as an average percentage of regular salary) are not substantially more than those for other eligible employees.

If the test is not satisfied, actions will be taken to bring the plan into compliance. For example, basic and matching contributions for highly-paid employees may be reduced. If adjustments are made to pass non-discrimination tests, and you are one of the affected plan participants, you will be notified in writing.