Is 401k employer match included in W2 Box 1?

1 Answer 1


No. The employer match is not included for several reasons.

The vesting schedule is different for each company, so that they would have to tell the IRS that the match was X$'s this year for this employee, but the amount that was vested is Y. The next year some of the first years money would have to be declared by the company as new covered by vesting.

The bigger issue is that no matter if the employee contribution is pre-tax, post-tax or Roth, the match has not been taxed and will be taxed when the money is withdrawn either during retirement or early.

Check that the amount stated on the W-2 matches what was on your last pay stub for the year in question.

  • I think correct answer is No, but I arrived at it using this reasoning: if the amount is included in Box 1, that means I have to pay tax on it. Since I shouldn't be paying tax on employer match, it follows that this amount is not included in Box1. I am not sure what you were referring to wrt vesting. I am immediately vested as soon as I purchase shares in 401k - at least that is the plan I have.
    – morpheus
    Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 19:39

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