Rules For Catch-Up Contributions to Retirement Accounts

It doesn’t matter when your birthday is. You can start catch-up contributions anytime during the year you turn 50.

A jar of cash on the table.
(Image credit: eskaylim)

I’m trying to figure out how much I can contribute to my 401(k) plan next year. I turn 50 in April 2017. Can I sign up to make catch-up contributions at the beginning of the year, or do I need to wait to add the extra money until after my birthday? Are the rules the same for IRAs?

You’ll be able to save a lot more money starting in 2017. It doesn’t matter when your birthday falls; as long as you’re 50 by December 31, you can make catch-up contributions anytime during the year.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.