Retirement Reports

Pension Plan Limits for the Tax Year 2017

Issue Date: October 2016

On October 27, 2016, the IRS announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2017. Many major limits have remained unchanged from 2016. Highlights include the following:

Item IRC Reference 2016 Limit 2017 Limit
401(k) and 403(b) Employee Deferral Limit 1 402(g)(1) $18,000 $18,000
457 Employee Deferral Limit 457(e)(15) $18,000 $18,000
Catch-up Contribution 2 414(v)(2)(B)(i) $6,000 $6,000
Defined Contribution Dollar Limit 415(c)(1)(A) $53,000 $54,000
Defined Benefit Dollar Limit 415(b)(1)(A) $210,000 $215,000
Compensation Limit 3 401(a)(17); 404(l) $265,000 $270,000
Highly Compensated Employee Income Limit 4 414(q)(1)(B) $120,000 $120,000
Key Employee Officer 416(i)(1)(A)(i) $170,000 $175,000
Social Security Taxable Wage Base $118,500 $127,200


  1. Employee deferrals to all 401(k) and 403(b) plans must be aggregated for purposes of this limit.
  2. Available to employees age 50 or older during the calendar year.
  3. All compensation from a single employer (including all members of a controlled group) must be aggregated for purposes of this limit.
  4. An employee who earns more than $120,000 in 2017 is an HCE in 2018.


Please be aware that this does not represent legal or tax advice and is only Frenkel’s interpretation of the laws, regulations and statutes. It is highly recommended that you seek the advice of your legal and tax professional as to the applicability of this information to your particular situation.