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:
Traditional IRA deduction limits for 2017
|Filing status||2017 modified AGI||Tax deduction|
|Married filing jointly or qualifying widow or widower||Full deduction up to contribution limit|
|Single or head of household||$62,000 or less||Full deduction up to contribution limit|
|More than $62,000 but less than $72,000||Partial deduction|
|$72,000 or more||No deduction|
|Married filing separately||If you or your spouse is covered by a workplace retirement plan: Less than $10,000||Partial deduction|
|If you or your spouse is covered: $10,000 or more||No deduction|
Roth IRA contribution limits for 2017
|Filing status||2017 modified AGI||Maximum contribution|
|Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er)||Less than $186,000||$5,500 ($6,500 if 50 or older)|
|$186,000 to $195,999||Contribution is reduced|
|$196,000 or more||Not eligible|
|Single, head of household or married filling separately (if you did NOT live with spouse during year)||Less than $118,000||$5,500 ($6,500 if 50 or older)|
|$118,000 to $132,999||Contribution is reduced|
|$133,000 or more||Not eligible|
|Married filing separately (if you lived with spouse at any time during year)||Less than $10,000||Contribution is reduced|
|$10,000 or more||Not eligible|
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.
More from NerdWallet:
- Roth vs. traditional IRA: Which account is for you?
- How and where to open an IRA
- Should I save for retirement in an IRA or 401(k)?
Updated June 23, 2017.