MSU Human Resources >> Benefits >> Retirement >> Contribution Limits for 457(b) Deferred Compensation Program


Contribution Limits for 457(b) Deferred Compensation Program

The maximum annual contribution limit for 457(b) plans will be $18,000 for 2015 (or 100% of gross annual compensation, if less).
Year Annual 457(b) Contribution Limits
2015 $18,000
2014 $17,500
Cost of living adjustments (COLAs) may allow for additional increases to these limits in increments of $500 per year.

Catch-up Contributions
A special catch-up limit allows participants who are age 50 and over to contribute an additional amount each year.
Year Annual 457(b) Contribution Limits Additional Catch Up Limit Total 457(b) Contribution Limit
2015 $18,000 $6,000 $24,000
2014 $17,500 $5,500 $23,000

Cost of living adjustments (COLAs) may allow for additional increases to these limits in increments of $500 per year.

Another catch-up limit allows participants who are within three years of attaining the normal retirement age of 65 to contribute up to twice the "annual contribution limit". For these participants, the maximum amount allowed is actually the lesser of:

  • twice the annual limit, or
  • the annual limit, plus the total amount of underutilized contributions from prior years.

Participants who use this catch-up limit cannot also use the "age 50" catch-up limit in the same year.

EXAMPLE: Let's assume it is 2015, Jane is 62 years old, and she is within three years of her normal retirement age of 65. Let's also assume that she contributed $6,000 in 2012, $7,000 in 2013 and $8,000 in 2014, for a total of $21,000. However, she could have contributed $52,000 in those three years ($17,000 + $17,500 + $17,500), or an extra $31,000. Because Jane is within three years of her normal retirement age, she can contribute the lesser of:

  • $36,000 (twice the annual 2015 limit of $18,000); or
  • $49,000 (the 2015 limit of $18,000, plus the $31,000 "left over" amount from the three previous years).

In this example, Jane would be allowed to contribute $36,000 in 2015.

Print this page