DEFINITION of 'Catch-Up Contribution'

A type of retirement savings contribution that allows people over 50 to make additional contributions to their 401(k) and/or individual retirement accounts. The catch-up contribution provision was created by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), so that older individuals would be able to set aside enough savings for retirement.

BREAKING DOWN 'Catch-Up Contribution'

Originally, the ability to make catch-up contributions under EGTRRA was set to end at around 2011. However, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 made catch-up contributions and other pension-related provisions permanent.

Although using catch-up contributions is a great way for many people to expand their retirement savings, a report from the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research entitled "Catch-Up Contributions in 2004: Plan Sponsor and Participant Adoption" (2004) found that only 13% of eligible candidates use catch-up contributions to expand their savings.

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  1. What is the catch-up contribution limit for qualified deferred tax plans?

    Learn about statutory limits established by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service for catch-up contributions to deferred retirement ... Read Answer >>
  2. When can catch-up contributions start?

    Learn when you can start making catch-up contributions to qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s, SIMPLE 401(k)s ... Read Answer >>
  3. Are catch-up contributions tax deductible?

    Learn the federal tax rules for contributions to 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE 401(k) and IRA retirement plans before and after ... Read Answer >>
  4. How old do I have to be to make catch-up contributions?

    Learn about the rules and limitations for catch-up contributions for common retirement plans, such as 401(k), 403(b), IRAs ... Read Answer >>
  5. Are catch-up contributions allowed for SEP IRAs?

    Find out whether you can make catch-up contributions to your SEP IRA, including the basics of how SEPs work and how contributions ... Read Answer >>
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