Simple IRA Contribution and 2024 Contribution Income Limits – Small Business Retirement Plans

A SIMPLE IRA is a small business IRA-based plan with a simplified method for employers to make direct contributions (via salary reductions) toward their employees’ retirement and their own retirement.

Employees may choose (not mandatory) to make regular deferred pre-tax salary contributions, while the employer makes matching or non-elective contributions (up to 3%). Contributions to a SIMPLE IRA plan cannot be repurposed to traditional IRA plan.

Starting in 2024, employees will be able to contribute an additional 10% on top of the existing limits, so long as their employer has less than 25 employees or has 26 to 100 employees and agrees to a 4% employer match or 3% nonelective contribution. This was done as part of the Secure 2.0 act.

SIMPLE IRAs are ideally suited as a start-up retirement savings plan for small employers and business; who do not currently sponsor a 401k retirement or SEP IRA plan.

The main advantage of a Simple IRA to other tax advantaged retirement plans is their simplified setup and much lower administration overhead.

In order to establish a SIMPLE IRA, the business must have 100 or fewer employees and not have any other type of retirement plan in place.

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SIMPLE IRA Contribution Limits

The current and recent annual employee deferral amounts (contributions) from their salary, as set by the IRS, is shown in the table below.

Employees over age 50 allowed to make a catch-up contribution of up to $3,500 in 2023 and 2024.

YearContribution Limit (Age under 50)Contribution Limit (Over 50)

Assuming your employer offers a SIMPLE IRA, you can generally contribute if you expect to or earned at least $5,000 in the last 2 years from the employer sponsoring your SIMPLE IRA.

Employees with multiple employers need to be aware that contributions under a SIMPLE IRA plan count toward the overall annual limit on elective deferrals they may make to other employer sponsored tax advantaged retirement plans.

Employer Matching and Non-Elective Contributions

Employers are generally required to match each employee’s salary reduction contribution on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to 3% of the employee’s compensation.

Or if no matching is in place, an employer can make non-elective contributions of 2% of the employee’s compensation up to the annual limit of $330,000 in 2023 and $340,000 in 2024.

If an employer chooses to make non-elective contributions, they must make them for all eligible employees whether or not they make salary reduction contributions.

The other very popular small business retirement plan is the SEP IRA. See this article for more details and the latest information on SEP IRA limits and eligibility.

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3 thoughts on “Simple IRA Contribution and 2024 Contribution Income Limits – Small Business Retirement Plans”

  1. I have switched jobs mid year. My old employer had a 401K where I had invested $11,450 for the year. My new employer has a simple IRA where the max is $12,500+$2500 catch up. How much can I contribute to the new plan?

    Thank you

  2. My question is: I am a full time employee. I make my maximum contribution to 401K plan now. I get 5% employer matching contribution. I was thing to reduce my contribution with my employer enough to get their matching and contribute the rest to my other Indv. 401K outside of my employer’s. I do have side business that I bring in 1099 Misc. and was allowed to open a Solo 401k.
    Can I do that?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • You can do that, but what is the rationale behind that? Do you have better investment choices than your employer sponsored 401K? After all your 401K contributions are tax free at your employer and via your business. Do the math before making this change.

      Solo and SEP IRA accounts have higher contribution limits, so they maybe a good option after you reach the limit at your employer.


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