Can I Have a 401(k) and an IRA?

You can contribute to both a 401(k) and an IRA, but be sure to understand the eligibility rules for deducting your IRA contribution.
Andrea Coombes
By Andrea Coombes 
Edited by Arielle O'Shea

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

You can contribute to both a 401(k) and an IRA, up to the maximum annual contribution limit for both. However, there are income limits that prevent some employees from being eligible to deduct traditional IRA contributions if they are also covered by a 401(k) at work.

How it works: One of the benefits of a traditional IRA is that you can get a tax deduction for your contributions each year. If you contribute, say, $6,500 to a traditional IRA this year, you can claim that contribution on your tax return and reduce your taxable income by that amount. (In fact, 401(k)s offer a very similar tax break: Your 401(k) contributions reduce your taxable income.)

But there’s a big caveat: If you have a 401(k) or other retirement plan at work, or your spouse does, then your contribution to a traditional IRA may not be deductible. People who have a retirement plan at work need to look at the IRA income limits to see if they qualify to deduct their contribution to a traditional IRA. In some cases, you may be able to deduct a portion of your contribution. (Even if you’re ineligible to deduct your IRA contribution, you can still contribute to an IRA. Read more about nondeductible IRAs.)

Note: You can always contribute to both a Roth IRA and a 401(k), as long as your income makes you eligible for a Roth.

Income limits for contributing to both an IRA and a 401(k)

The below table outlines the IRS limits for deducting your contribution to a traditional IRA if you or your spouse are covered by a retirement plan at work. In 2023, if you're a single filer with a workplace retirement plan, you're no longer eligible to deduct traditional IRA contributions once your income exceeds $83,000 or more. For those married filing jointly, that limit is $136,000 if you're covered by the plan, and $228,000 if your spouse is covered but you are not.

Filing status

2022 or 2023 income range

Deduction limit

Single or head of household (and covered by retirement plan at work)

2022: $68,000 or less. 2023: $73,000 or less.

Full deduction.

2022: More than $68,000, but less than $78,000.

2023: More than $73,000, but less than $83,000.

Partial deduction.

2022: $78,000 or more. 2023: $83,000 or more.

No deduction.

Married filing jointly (and covered by retirement plan at work)

2022: $109,000 or less. 2023: $116,000 or less.

Full deduction.

2022: More than $109,000, but less than $129,000.

2023: More than $116,000, but less than $136,000.

Partial deduction.

2022: $129,000 or more.

2023: $136,000 or more.

No deduction.

Married filing jointly (spouse covered by retirement plan at work)

2022: $204,000 or less. 2023: $218,000 or less.

Full deduction.

2022: More than $204,000, but less than $214,000.

2023: More than $218,000, but less than $228,000.

Partial deduction.

2022: $214,000 or more. 2023: $228,000 or more.

No deduction.

Married filing separately (you or spouse covered by retirement plan at work)

2022 and 2023: Less than $10,000.

Partial deduction.

2022 and 2023: $10,000 or more.

No deduction.

Advertisement

Fees 

$0

per trade

Fees 

0%

management fee

Fees 

$0

no account fees to open a Fidelity retail IRA

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Account minimum 

$0

Promotion 

Up to $600

when you invest in a new Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account.

Promotion 

Free

career counseling plus loan discounts with qualifying deposit

Promotion 

Get $100

when you open a new Fidelity retail IRA with $50. A 200% match. Use code FIDELITY100. Limited time offer. Terms apply.

AD

Paid non-client promotion

How to choose between an IRA and a 401(k)

If you have a 401(k) at work, you may be trying to figure out if it makes sense to open up an IRA. First, understand the current annual contribution limits for both accounts:

  • 401(k): You can contribute up to $22,500 in 2023 ($30,000 for those age 50 or older).

  • IRA: You can contribute up to $6,500 in 2023 ($7,500 if age 50 and older). You can contribute that amount to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, or you can divvy up your money into each type of plan. (The IRA contribution limit is a combined annual maximum.)

Here’s a good way to approach deciding between a 401(k) and an IRA, assuming you can’t max out both:

  1. If your employer offers a 401(k) match, contribute enough to get all of that free money.

  2. Once you’re set up to get the full match in your 401(k), next consider contributing to an IRA. If you’re eligible for the tax deduction, a traditional IRA can offer a lot of benefits beyond that tax break, including access to low-cost investments and low or zero administrative fees. A Roth IRA is another great option.

  3. If you’re not eligible to claim the traditional IRA tax deduction or a Roth isn’t right for you, then sticking with your 401(k) might make the most sense.

» Still not sure? Read our road map for choosing between an IRA vs. 401(k)

» Ready to decide? Check out all of our picks for the best IRA accounts

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.