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On Oct. 16, 2008, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
announced its tax year 2009 cost-of-living adjustments for dollar limits on qualified retirement plan benefits and contributions, effective Jan. 1, 2009.
Many retirement plan limits will change for 2009 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. For 401(k) plans in tax year 2009:
401(k) Plan Limits
Maximum elective deferral
Defined contribution maximum deferral (employer/employee combined)
Maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 and older
Defined Benefit Plans
The annual benefit limit for defined benefit plans is increased from $185,000 to
$195,000. For participants who separated from service before Jan. 1, 2009, the limit for defined benefit plans is computed by multiplying the participant's compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2008, by 1.0530.
Other Plan Limit Changes
According to the IRS, administrators of defined benefit or defined contribution plans that have received favorable determination letters should not request new determination letters solely because of yearly amendments to adjust maximum limitations in the plans.
Stephen Miller is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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