Author Topic: 401k max question  (Read 3314 times)

Vwjedi76

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401k max question
« on: June 23, 2015, 08:31:38 PM »
I am currently a full time college student/SAHM, but my hubby has a 401K through his employer.  The 401k company website (John Hancock) states that we can contribute up to 60% of his salary.  I know the 2015 IRS max is somewhere in the ballpark of $18,000. So can we contribute OVER $18000 as long as we don't contribute over 60% of the salary? I'm confused.

MDM

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Re: 401k max question
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2015, 08:36:48 PM »
I am currently a full time college student/SAHM, but my hubby has a 401K through his employer.  The 401k company website (John Hancock) states that we can contribute up to 60% of his salary.  I know the 2015 IRS max is somewhere in the ballpark of $18,000. So can we contribute OVER $18000 as long as we don't contribute over 60% of the salary? I'm confused.

It's this: he can contribute up to $18000 or up to 60% of the salary, whichever limit is lower.  The first is the IRS limit, the second is the company's own limit.  Can't go over either limit, because that's what a limit is.

nereo

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Re: 401k max question
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 08:45:52 PM »
I am currently a full time college student/SAHM, but my hubby has a 401K through his employer.  The 401k company website (John Hancock) states that we can contribute up to 60% of his salary.  I know the 2015 IRS max is somewhere in the ballpark of $18,000. So can we contribute OVER $18000 as long as we don't contribute over 60% of the salary? I'm confused.

It's this: he can contribute up to $18000 or up to 60% of the salary, whichever limit is lower.  The first is the IRS limit, the second is the company's own limit.  Can't go over either limit, because that's what a limit is.

sorta.  The maximum pre-tax amount the IRS allows you to contribute is $18k in 2015.  However, the total limit is $53k, with anything you contribute after $18k will be post-tax dollars.  In your case it will be whatever is lower, $53k or 60% of his salary.
Most people won't bother maxing after-tax contributions since there are better vehicles (IRAs, HSAs) - but it does create the possibility of the so-called mega-backdoor ROTH.

http://www.madfientist.com/after-tax-contributions/

notmyhand

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Re: 401k max question
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015, 09:21:11 PM »
I am currently a full time college student/SAHM, but my hubby has a 401K through his employer.  The 401k company website (John Hancock) states that we can contribute up to 60% of his salary.  I know the 2015 IRS max is somewhere in the ballpark of $18,000. So can we contribute OVER $18000 as long as we don't contribute over 60% of the salary? I'm confused.

It's this: he can contribute up to $18000 or up to 60% of the salary, whichever limit is lower.  The first is the IRS limit, the second is the company's own limit.  Can't go over either limit, because that's what a limit is.

sorta.  The maximum pre-tax amount the IRS allows you to contribute is $18k in 2015.  However, the total limit is $53k, with anything you contribute after $18k will be post-tax dollars.  In your case it will be whatever is lower, $53k or 60% of his salary.
Most people won't bother maxing after-tax contributions since there are better vehicles (IRAs, HSAs) - but it does create the possibility of the so-called mega-backdoor ROTH.

http://www.madfientist.com/after-tax-contributions/

I believe that after tax contributions aren't allowed by all 401k plans so check with your provider.  If not, then 18k would be the limit.

MDM

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Re: 401k max question
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015, 09:31:58 PM »
...and if we're going down that path, $53K is the total of employee + employer contributions allowed, so the employee's contribution limit per the IRS would be $53K minus whatever the employer has contributed.

nereo

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Re: 401k max question
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 10:51:08 AM »
...and if we're going down that path, $53K is the total of employee + employer contributions allowed, so the employee's contribution limit per the IRS would be $53K minus whatever the employer has contributed.
see how simple it all is? :-)  There's the easy, mostly correct answer.  Then the slightly more complicated answer.  And then the slightly more complicated answer which depends on an individual's actual 401(k) plan.

Numbers Man

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Re: 401k max question
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 11:07:42 AM »
I am currently a full time college student/SAHM, but my hubby has a 401K through his employer.  The 401k company website (John Hancock) states that we can contribute up to 60% of his salary.  I know the 2015 IRS max is somewhere in the ballpark of $18,000. So can we contribute OVER $18000 as long as we don't contribute over 60% of the salary? I'm confused.

It's this: he can contribute up to $18000 or up to 60% of the salary, whichever limit is lower.  The first is the IRS limit, the second is the company's own limit.  Can't go over either limit, because that's what a limit is.

^ This is the answer.

nereo

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Re: 401k max question
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 12:41:54 PM »
I am currently a full time college student/SAHM, but my hubby has a 401K through his employer.  The 401k company website (John Hancock) states that we can contribute up to 60% of his salary.  I know the 2015 IRS max is somewhere in the ballpark of $18,000. So can we contribute OVER $18000 as long as we don't contribute over 60% of the salary? I'm confused.

It's this: he can contribute up to $18000 or up to 60% of the salary, whichever limit is lower.  The first is the IRS limit, the second is the company's own limit.  Can't go over either limit, because that's what a limit is.

^ This is the answer.
unless you want to contribute more, and your 401(k) plan allows you to do so.  Then, up to $53k total.

see "Overall Limit Contributions" section here: http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Plan-Participant,-Employee/Retirement-Topics-401k-and-Profit-Sharing-Plan-Contribution-Limits