If a person will turn 50 in the current tax year, can they make a catch-up IRA contribution for that tax year before they turn 50? Also, one site I found said age 50 1/2, so is it 50 or 50.5 years old to qualify for a catch-up contribution?

The IRS website states:

For 2013 and 2014, the maximum you can contribute to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs is the smaller of: $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re age 50 or older), or your taxable compensation for the year.

For example, if you turn 50 in November 2014, can you make a $6,500 contribution for 2014 in May 2014?

  • The sites that say 50-1/2? Send them our way, we'll set them straight. Mar 1, 2014 at 3:14

1 Answer 1


If you're 50 on Dec 31st of the tax year, you can make the full catch-up contribution by Tax filing date of the following year (or anytime during the year, doesn't matter)

Note, this is different than how non-penalized withdrawals work, one must be age 59-1/2 on the date of the withdrawal.

  • 2
    +1 - I added the edit hoping to help OP understand the '1/2' confusion. Maybe it's from the withdrawal age. Mar 1, 2014 at 13:24
  • 1
    But if you will be 50 on Dec 31st, can you make the contribution earlier in the year while you are still 49?
    – WilliamKF
    Mar 3, 2014 at 19:36
  • One way to test for sure would be to see if you're allowed the transfer yet. The brokerage knows the limits and your birth date, and would cap appropriately. I believe it is based on the year though so anytime during the year should work. If you somehow managed to overcontribute for the year, I think you have until Apr15 (tax day) to correct it before they start to penalize and make trouble. They don't do mid-year checks.
    – Miro
    Mar 3, 2014 at 22:47

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