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I will only have a 401k for part of this year. Am I still able to contribute up to the maximum contribution limit ($18,500 in 2018 this year) even though I only will have the plan for part of the year?

I moved from a job that did not have a 401k plan to a job that does have a 401k plan. I have not contributed to any other IRA or 401k so far this year.

  • I would contact HR ASAP. You might only get two months of pay periods in before the end of the year, so you'd also have to have up to $9250 available to contribute per month after taxes and your other deductions. And this assumes they'll even let you do it. – TTT Oct 4 '18 at 16:17
  • Yes, contribute 100% of paycheck of able. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Oct 4 '18 at 17:12
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I moved from a job that did not have a 401k plan to a job that does have a 401k plan. I have not contributed to any other IRA or 401k so far this year.

Because you have not contributed any money to a 401K plan this year, you can put the full amount into your 401K by the end of the year. Keep in mind that that for the purposes of the $18,500 or $24,500 limit it includes all the money you contribute to a 401K, 403, 467, or US Government TSP.

Your contribution to a 401K plan doesn't impact the amount of money you can put into an IRA, but participation in a 401K plan can impact if the contribution to an IRA is deductible.

Note that some companies limit the maximum percentage of each check that you can contribute into the 401K. Therefore the limited number of checks left in the year could make it hard to reach the limits. Also a paycheck with a date in 2019 is a contribution in 2019, even if all the working hours are in 2018.

  • 1
    Good answer. Please pay attention to the last paragraph, first sentence. Plan rules may preclude you from contributing the max. – Pete B. Oct 4 '18 at 12:21
  • @Kevin To be disqualified you need to have a 401(k) available and make above a set amount. fool.com/retirement/2017/11/19/… – Chris Oct 5 '18 at 17:31
  • @Chris hmm, all this retirement account stuff is complicated… thanks for the clarification. – Kevin Oct 5 '18 at 17:41

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