403(b) Contribution Limits
Participants in 403(b) plans can contribute up to $18,000 for year 2016. This limit has not increased since 2015. However, in 2014 and 2013 the limit was $17,500, and was only $17,000 in 2012.
If you are participating in a 403(b) plan
and also have an employer who matches or offers other employer contributions, the limit of contribution is $53,000 or 100 percent of compensation, whichever is the lower amount. Keep in mind that you are still limited to the employee elective deferral limit of $18,000 for 2016. However, your employer can add up to another $35,000 to your 403(b) plan.
Catching Up After Age 50
If you are 50 years or older, you may have the option to play catch up and add additional funds to your 403(b) plan. Participants age 50 and older are permitted to contribute an additional $6,000 in 2016. This amount is unchanged from 2015. However, from 2009 to 2014 the contribution limit was $5,500.
The 15-Year Rule
If you have 15 years of service with your current employer and have an annual average contribution of less than $5,000 per year, you may be eligible for an additional $3,000 contribution per year under the “15-Year Rule.” This additional contribution is a lifetime maximum catch up of $15,000. If you are eligible for both the age 50 or older catch up and the 15-year rule, the IRS will apply contributions to the 15-year rule above the regular limit. Note that employers are not required to make this provision available to employees.