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Saving too much for retirement is an unlikely problem — unless you run afoul of contribution limits for individual retirement accounts.

IRA contribution limit for 2017

The limits for Roth IRA and traditional IRA contributions didn’t change between 2016 and 2017. The current combined annual limit is:

  • Under age 50: $5,500
  • Age 50 or older: $6,500

Both traditional and Roth IRAs also impose restrictions in certain circumstances:

  • Roth IRA contribution limits: The amount you can contribute is reduced — and eventually eliminated — at higher incomes
  • Traditional IRA deduction limits: Your ability to deduct contributions may be limited or eliminated if you or your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work.

Here’s the full breakdown of those limits and phaseouts, which are based on your modified adjusted gross income:

Exceptions to IRA contribution limits

This is the IRS, so you’re probably not surprised to hear there are a couple caveats you should know about. First, you can’t contribute more than you earn. If your taxable compensation for the year is $4,000, that’s also your IRA contribution limit.

The caveat to that caveat: If you’re a nonworking spouse, you can have what’s called a spousal IRA as long as your spouse earns enough to cover the contribution. That means if you both want to contribute the maximum to an IRA, and you’re both under 50, your spouse will need to earn at least $11,000.

The limit also doesn’t apply to transfers from other retirement accounts, like a 401(k) rollover.

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Updated June 23, 2017.