Solo 401k Contribution Limits
With a Solo 401k account, the business owner is seen as the employee and employer of the business. Therefore, his or her Solo 401k Contribution Limits include both salary deferrals and profit sharing contribution. The total Solo 401k Contribution Limits are limited to $55,000 in 2018, which is $1000 higher than the 2017 contribution limit.
Use the Solo 401k Contribution Calculator to determine your contribution limit this year:
SEP IRA vs Solo 401k Contribution Limits
A Solo 401k has the potential to offer a higher contribution limit than a SEP IRA in certain situations.
Both the Solo 401k plan and a SEP IRA has a maximum total contribution of $55,000 in 2018.
A SEP IRA and a Solo 401k both allow profit sharing contribution of 20% of the owner’s compensation for sole proprietorships and single member LLC’s. Corporations can contribute up to 25% of the owner’s compensation to a SEP IRA or a Solo 401k.
However, a Solo 401k plan also allows a salary deferral of up to $18,500 a year. SEP IRA does not allow any salary deferral.
Additionally, Solo 401k plan holders who are 50 years or older can make a catch-up contribution of $6,000. There is no catch-up allowed with SEP IRA.
Consider the case of Tom, a 52 year old owner of a corporation without any employee. Tom’s business earns him $100,000 a year.
With either a SEP IRA or a Solo 401k, Tom is allowed to make profit sharing contribution of $25,000. With a Solo 401k, however, he is allowed to put an additional $18,500 into the Solo 401k as salary deferral. Tom can also contribute up to $6,000 in catch-up contribution. A SEP IRA, on the other hand, does not allow any salary deferral or catch up contributions.
|SEP IRA||SOLO 401k|
(25% of compensation)
(up to $18,500)
|Catch Up Contribution||–||$6,000|
Salary Deferral Contributions
In 2002, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) took effects and created a whole new incentive for owner-only businesses to set up a Solo 401k plan. Before then, a Solo 401k plan is not much different from a profit-sharing plan or a SEP IRA. After EGTRRA became effective, a Solo 401k has been gaining popularity for its generous contribution limit.
With this, self employed business owners can put more money into the tax-deferred account and take full advantage of the tax benefits this plan offers.
The total salary deferral limit is up to $18,500 in 2018 for plan participants under the age of 50. Those who are 50 years old or older can contribute an additional $6,000. The contribution can be as much as 100% of the self-employed compensation.
Solo 401k Contributions: The Largest Tax Benefits within the Tax Code
Tony Watson, a tax consultant at Robert Hall & Associate, explained how investors can save thousands of dollars in taxes by contributing to a Solo 401k.
Profit Sharing Contributions
Also as an employer, the business owner can make profit sharing contribution of up to 25% of the owner’s compensation.
- If the business is a sole proprietorship or a single member LLC: The plan can receive up to 20% of the participant’s self-employment compensation.
- If the business is a corporation: Solo 401k Contribution Limits allow profit sharing contributions of up to 25% of the self-employment compensation.
Total Solo 401k Contribution Limit
The combined total Solo 401k Contribution Limits without catch-up contribution is $55,000 per year for 2018. Plan participants who are over 50 years old can contribute a maximum total of $61,000 in 2018.
If the spouse of the plan participant also earns income from the same business, he or she can also make contributions to the Solo 401k Plan.
The spouse’s contribution limit is as much as, and separate from, the business owner. That means a couple can contribute as much as $110,000 together in a Solo 401k plan in 2018. If both of them are over 50 years old, they can contribute up to $122,000 to the plan.
Use our Solo 401k Contribution Calculator to determine how much you can contribute to your Solo 401k this year.
The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.
Alternate investment options you get with a Self Directed Solo 401k:
Stock & Funds
Financial Concepts that Make Sense!
Greater Flexibility. Investment Freedom. Hassle-Free Management.