Use Catch-up

Looking to contribute even more to your account before you retire? There are two ways to “Catch-up!” Please note - you may use only one of these Catch-up options in the same year:

  1. Age 50+ Catch-up
    Those age 50 or older may use the age 50+ Catch-up provision. You can defer an additional $6,000 in 2019 over the normal IRS annual deferral limit of $19,000. The annual limit for those over age 50 is now $25,000.
  2. Traditional Catch-up
    If you are within three years of normal retirement age, and if you have not contributed the maximum in the past, you may be able to increase your deferral amount up to two times the normal maximum contribution limit (for example, in 2019 you may be able to contribute as much as $38,000).

For each year that you did not contribute your maximum deferral allowed, you have under-utilized deferrals. An under-utilized deferral is the difference between what you could have deferred and what you did defer. You will need to provide your W-2s or payroll history from your employer to document this amount. With this information, your available Catch-up will be calculated based on your total under-utilized deferrals.


The Catch-up provision serves as a one-time opportunity that lasts for three consecutive calendar years as long as you are employed. Even if you start late in the first year, that year is counted as one of the three years in which you can catch up. You may not make Catch-up deferrals in the year you name as your normal retirement age.

Retirement date

If you postpone your retirement, you may continue the Catch-up deferral for the remainder of the three-year period.

Changing jobs

If you change jobs without retiring from your first employer, you may continue Catch-up with your new employer through the original three-year period.

Changing your mind

You may change your contribution amount or cancel Catch-up at any time during the three-year election period.

Information provided by Retirement Planning Specialists and Account Executives is for educational purposes only and is not intended as investment advice.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principle.

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