Catch-Up Contributions

Catch-up contributions allow you to put in additional funds, over the maximum individual limit. The 403(b) and 457(b) Plans offer different types of catch up contributions. In order to make catch up contributions, you must meet certain requirements. Read more below for details about eligibility.

Age 50 Catch Up

An additional $6,000 per year for 2017 can be contributed to a 403(b) and 457(b) Plan, if permitted by the Plan, and if you are age 50 and older at any time during the calendar year.

15-Year Rule for 403(b) Plans

If permitted by the Plan, an additional $3,000 per year for 2017 can be contributed if:

  • You have 15 years of service with your current employer
  • Your annual average contribution is less than $5,000 per year
  • You complete a Maximum Allowable Contribution (MAC) calculation worksheet, which is approved by the Plan

There is a lifetime maximum catch up of $15,000 under the 15-year rule. If you are eligible for both the age 50 catch up and the 15-year rule, the IRS will apply contributions above the regular limit first to the 15-year rule.

Last 3 Years Rule for 457(b) Plans

If permitted by Plan, for the 3 years prior to the normal retirement age, you may contribute the lesser of:

  • Twice the annual limit ($36,000 in 2017)
  • The basic annual limit plus the amount of the basic limit not used in prior years. This catch-up contribution is only allowed if not using age 50 or over catch-up contributions.


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