2019 IRA Limits on Contributions and Income

Contribution limits increase a little in 2019

IRA account egg sitting in a nest.
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The amount you can contribute to an IRA in 2019 depends on how old you are. The limit is $6,000 for those age 49 and under, and $7,000 if you're age 50 or older. This is an increase for the caps that were in place from 2012 through 2018. Use your age as of the last day of the calendar year.

Income limits determine if you can deduct all or some of the contribution amount.

Note: The contribution limits discussed in this article do not apply to Roth, SEP IRAs, or SIMPLE IRAs—only to a traditional IRA.

When You Have a Company-Sponsored Retirement Plan

You can still make IRA contributions if you and/or your spouse participate in a company-sponsored retirement plan such as 401(k) or Section 457), but it might not be deductible. Income limitations apply to determine if you can deduct your IRA contribution.

  • For single filers who are covered by a company retirement plan in 2019, the deduction is phased out between $64,000 and $74,000 of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). The 2018 limits were $63,000 through $73,000. 
  • Married filers covered by a company retirement plan in 2019 the deduction is phased out between $103,000 and $123,000 of MAGI, but only if they file joint returns.
  • The deduction for married filing single taxpayers is eliminated at MAGIs of $10,000 as of 2019.

Nondeductible IRA Contributions

You can still make contributions even if your IRA contribution isn't deductible. The funds in the account will grow tax-deferred until you take a withdrawal.

Or you may be eligible to make a full or partial Roth IRA contribution. Your total contributions to Roth and Traditional IRAs cannot exceed the dollar limits cited above. You can contribute to both, such as $2,000 to a Traditional IRA and $4,000 to a Roth, but the total of both contributions can't exceed the maximum contribution amount.

IRA rollovers and transfers don't count as "contributions," so they won't affect your ability to fund an IRA.

Earned Income Rules for All IRA Contributions

You must have earned income to make an IRA contribution of any type. The amount of earned income you have must equal or exceed the amount of your IRA contribution.

This means that if you're retired and no longer working, you can't make an IRA contribution, although you can still rollover or transfer money from a 401(k) to an IRA.

You can make an IRA contribution for a non-working spouse who has no earned income, as long as you have enough earned income. This is referred to as a spousal IRA contribution.

2018 IRA Contribution Deadlines

You have until April 15, 2020, to make your 2019 IRA contributions.

IRA Limits Are Indexed to Inflation

IRA limits are tied to inflation but they only go up in $500 increments, so if the annual inflation adjustment were only $150, it would be four years before the IRS raised the limit.

Year Limit If Age 50+
2017 $5,500 $6,500
2016 $5,500 $6,500
2015 $5,500 $6,500
2014 $5,500 $6,500
2013 $5,500 $6,500
2012 $5,500 $6,500
2011 $5,000 $6,000
2010 $5,000 $6,000
2009 $5,000 $6,000