The company I am working for said that 401(k) contribution can be based on only straight time pay! The company I previously worked for allowed me to contribute on gross earnings. Has the law changed, or is the current employer wrong?

By Denise Appleby AAA
A:

The regulation (law) that addresses your specific question has not changed. However, both employers may be right. Here's why:

The regulations allow the employer to determine, to a certain extent, what is defined as "eligible compensation/pay" for the purposes of determining contributions to the plan. For instance, some plans include overtime pay in the definition of compensation for salary deferral purposes, while others may not.

Here's an example: assume that the plan does not include overtime in the definition of compensation and limits your salary deferral to 10% of your compensation. If you earn $10,000 as regular (straight time) pay and $1,000 in overtime, you would be allowed to defer up to $1,000 to your 401(k) because your limit will be 10% of your straight time pay.

If you cannot contribute as much as you would like to, all is not lost. If you have extra funds you want to contribute to a retirement account, you may consider making a contribution to an IRA.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby
(
Contact Denise)

RELATED FAQS

  1. What are the 403(b) contribution limits?

    Determine whether 403(b) contributions meet federal guidelines. Contribution limits to this retirement plan are determined ...
  2. Can I roll over a 403b plan?

    Learn whether distributions from a 403(b) plan can be rolled over, where they can be rolled over to and what the income tax ...
  3. What is the difference between a 408 (k) plan and a 401 (k) plan?

    Learn key differences between 401(k) and 408(k) plans. Employers provide different options to help employees save for retirement, ...
  4. Is a 408 (k) the same as a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP)?

    Find out the differences and the similarities between a 408(k) retirement plan and a simplified employee pension (SEP), and ...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Eligible Transfer

    An IRS-allowed movement of assets into or out of an individual ...
  2. Death Master File (DMF)

    Also known as Social Security Death Index. A list of people whose ...
  3. Leveraged Benefits

    The use – by a business owner or professional practitioner – ...
  4. Peri-Retirement

    A term for the period of time leading up to actual retirement. ...
  5. MyRA

    A new tax-advantaged retirement account that President Barack ...
  6. Target-Date Fund

    A mutual fund in the hybrid category that automatically resets ...
comments powered by Disqus
Related Articles
  1. 10 Common Retirement Planning Mistakes ...
    Retirement

    10 Common Retirement Planning Mistakes ...

  2. Power Of Attorney: Do You Need One?
    Retirement

    Power Of Attorney: Do You Need One?

  3. 7 Steps To Evaluate A Financial Adviser
    Investing Basics

    7 Steps To Evaluate A Financial Adviser

  4. 6 Retirement Planning Tips For Late ...
    Retirement

    6 Retirement Planning Tips For Late ...

  5. Set It And Forget It Doesn’t Work For ...
    Investing Basics

    Set It And Forget It Doesn’t Work For ...

Trading Center