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Taking Advantage of 457 Plan Catch-up Contributions: Boosting Your Savings

by Team Enrichest on

Are you worried about having enough savings to comfortably enjoy your retirement years? If so, don't despair! There's a fantastic financial tool at your disposal that can help you boost your retirement savings: the 457 plan catch-up contributions. Whether you're a novice or already familiar with retirement planning, this article will provide you with valuable insights on how you can take full advantage of these catch-up contributions to ensure a brighter and more financially secure future.

So, let's dive in and discover how you too can supercharge your savings with the 457 plan catch-up provisions!

What is a 457 Plan?

A 457 Plan is a type of retirement savings plan available to eligible employees of state and local governments, as well as certain non-profit organizations. It offers tax advantages for saving and investing for retirement. Unlike other retirement plans, such as 401(k) or IRA, a 457 Plan allows participants to make catch-up contributions if they are close to retirement age.

Catch-up contributions enable individuals aged 50 and older to save additional funds beyond the standard contribution limits. These extra contributions can significantly boost retirement savings, providing individuals with the opportunity to bridge any savings gaps and reach their retirement goals more comfortably.

Understanding Catch-up Contributions

Catch-up contributions are an important feature of 457 Plans that allow individuals aged 50 and above to save more for retirement. These contributions enable eligible participants to make additional contributions beyond the regular limits set by the plan. Catch-up contributions act as a valuable tool for those who may have started saving for retirement later in life or need to accelerate their savings.

For example, let's say Jane, who is 55 years old, wants to boost her retirement savings. She can take advantage of catch-up contributions and contribute more to her 457 Plan, potentially increasing her overall savings. Understanding the rules and limitations surrounding catch-up contributions within a 457 Plan can help individuals make informed decisions to optimize their retirement savings.

Importance of Boosting your Savings

Boosting your savings through 457 Plan catch-up contributions is a smart financial move. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you can make up for lost time and accelerate your retirement savings. With the rising cost of living and uncertainties surrounding social security, having a larger nest egg is crucial. Increasing your savings can provide a financial safety net, giving you peace of mind during your retirement years.

Whether it's traveling the world, starting a business, or enjoying hobbies, having additional funds allows you to live life on your terms. Don't miss out on the chance to secure a comfortable future by maximizing your 457 Plan catch-up contributions.

Eligibility for 457 Plan Catch-up Contributions

Age Requirement

To be eligible for making catch-up contributions to a 457 Plan, you must meet certain age criteria.

Typically, individuals aged 50 or older are allowed to make additional contributions beyond the regular limit. This age requirement offers an opportunity to accelerate your retirement savings during the final years of your career. By taking advantage of this provision, you can shore up your nest egg and potentially increase the funds available to you in retirement.

For example, if you turn 50 in the middle of the year, you can start making catch-up contributions at that point. It is crucial to understand and fulfill the age requirement to maximize your savings potential in a 457 Plan.

Years of Service Requirement

The "Years of Service Requirement" is an important factor to consider for 457 Plan catch-up contributions. This criterion determines when you become eligible to make additional contributions to your plan.

Typically, you must have at least 15 years of service with your employer to qualify for catch-up contributions. This means that employees who have dedicated a significant amount of time to their organization can take advantage of higher contribution limits, allowing them to boost their savings for retirement.

For example, if you have been working for the same employer for 20 years, you may be eligible to contribute more to your 457 Plan and accelerate your retirement savings.

Other Eligibility Criteria

Apart from age and years of service requirements, there are additional eligibility criteria for 457 Plan catch-up contributions. These criteria typically include being employed by a government or tax-exempt organization. Some plans may require participants to have reached a certain compensation threshold before being eligible for catch-up contributions.

Additionally, certain plans may have restrictions based on the type of position or job title held by the individual. It's important to review your specific plan documents to determine all the eligibility criteria that apply to you. Consulting with your plan administrator can provide further guidance on the requirements and help ensure you meet all necessary criteria to take advantage of catch-up contributions.

457 Plan Catch-up Contribution Limits

General Contribution Limits

General Contribution Limits for 457 Plan catch-up contributions:

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sets annual contribution limits for 457 plans.
  • As of 2021, the general contribution limit for 457 plans is $19,500.
  • This limit applies to all contributions made by an individual to their 457 plan.
  • It's important to note that catch-up contributions have their own separate limit.
  • Catch-up contributions allow individuals aged 50 and over to contribute an additional $6,500 to their 457 plan in 2021.
  • By understanding and maximizing your general contribution limits, you can make the most of your 457 plan and boost your retirement savings.

Catch-up Contribution Limits

Catch-up contribution limits for 457 Plans are designed to help individuals nearing retirement to save more effectively. These limits allow eligible participants to contribute additional funds beyond the regular contribution limits set by the IRS. For 2021, the catch-up contribution limit is $6,500, and for 2022, it increases to $6,000. By taking advantage of these catch-up contributions, individuals can accelerate their retirement savings and bridge any gaps in their financial plans.

For example, if someone is age 50 or older and wants to boost their retirement savings quickly, making catch-up contributions can significantly increase their overall nest egg. It's important to review and understand the specific catch-up contribution limits to ensure maximum benefit from a 457 Plan.

2021 Limits

In 2021, the 457 Plan catch-up contribution limit allows individuals who are within three years of their normal retirement age to contribute an additional $6,500 on top of the regular contribution limit. This provides an opportunity for individuals who may have fallen behind in their retirement savings to accelerate their savings efforts.

For example, someone who is 57 years old and eligible for catch-up contributions could contribute up to $26,000 in 2021. Taking advantage of the 2021 catch-up contribution limit can significantly boost retirement savings and help individuals prepare for a more financially secure future.

2022 Limits

The 2022 limits for 457 Plan catch-up contributions have been set to allow individuals aged 50 years or older to save more for retirement. The catch-up contribution limit for 2022 is $6,500, in addition to the general contribution limit of $19,500. This means that individuals aged 50 and above can contribute a total of $26,000 to their 457 Plan in 2022.

Taking advantage of the increased catch-up contribution limit allows individuals to accelerate their savings and make up for any missed opportunities in previous years. Planning to maximize catch-up contributions can help ensure a more secure financial future during retirement.

Strategies for Maximizing Catch-up Contributions

Starting Early

Starting early with 457 Plan catch-up contributions can significantly boost your savings. By taking advantage of the extra contribution allowance as soon as you become eligible, you give your money more time to grow through compound interest.

For example, if you start making catch-up contributions at age 50 instead of waiting until 55, you'll have five additional years of potential growth. Even small contributions can make a big impact over time. By contributing an extra 1-2% of your salary to your 457 Plan each year, you can accumulate a substantial amount by the time you retire. So, don't delay, start maximizing your catch-up contributions as early as possible to secure a more comfortable retirement.

Salary Deferral vs. Roth Contributions

One decision to consider when making catch-up contributions to your 457 Plan is whether to opt for salary deferral or Roth contributions. Salary deferral involves contributing pre-tax income, reducing your current taxable income while allowing it to grow tax-deferred. On the other hand, Roth contributions are made with after-tax dollars, meaning they won't reduce your taxable income now, but qualified withdrawals in retirement will be tax-free.

Your choice depends on factors like your current tax bracket, projected future tax bracket, and personal preference. If you expect to be in a higher tax bracket during retirement, Roth contributions may be beneficial. Conversely, if you anticipate being in a lower tax bracket, a salary deferral could offer more advantages. Consider consulting a financial advisor to determine which option aligns best with your circumstances.

Employer Matching Programs

Employer matching programs can greatly benefit individuals looking to maximize their 457 Plan catch-up contributions. These programs allow employers to contribute a certain percentage of an employee's salary to their retirement account.

For example, if an employee contributes 6% of their salary to their 457 Plan, the employer may match that contribution up to a predetermined limit, such as 3%. This effectively doubles the employee's contribution and helps accelerate their savings. Taking advantage of employer matching programs is a smart strategy to boost retirement savings without adding extra financial burden. It is important for individuals to understand their employer's matching policy and contribute at least enough to receive the full match.

Making the Most of your Catch-up Contributions

Investing Wisely

Investing wisely is crucial when it comes to maximizing the benefits of your 457 Plan catch-up contributions. Diversifying your portfolio across different asset classes can help mitigate risk and optimize returns. Consider allocating your investments among stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments based on your risk tolerance and time horizon.

Additionally, regularly reviewing and rebalancing your portfolio can ensure that it aligns with your goals and objectives. It's also wise to stay informed about market trends and economic indicators to make well-informed investment decisions. Remember, seeking the guidance of a financial advisor can provide valuable insights tailored to your specific circumstances.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Seeking professional guidance when it comes to 457 Plan catch-up contributions can provide valuable insights and personalized strategies. Financial advisors with expertise in retirement planning can help you navigate the complexities of the plan, optimize contribution amounts, and make informed investment decisions. They can assess your individual circumstances and provide tailored advice based on your risk tolerance, retirement goals, and timeline.

A professional can assist in determining the right mix of investments, explain tax implications, and keep you informed about any legislative changes that may impact your savings. Their expertise can help you make the most of your catch-up contributions and ensure you are on track for a comfortable retirement.

Tracking and Reviewing your Savings

Tracking and reviewing your savings is crucial for effectively maximizing the benefits of 457 Plan catch-up contributions. Regularly monitoring your investment progress allows you to make informed decisions and adjust your strategy if needed. Consider using online tools or apps to help track your contributions, monitor investment performance, and project future savings.

Additionally, review your statements and portfolio allocations to ensure they align with your financial goals. If you're unsure about managing your investments, consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable guidance and help you make informed choices. Stay proactive in reviewing your savings to stay on track towards achieving your retirement goals.


If you have a 457 plan and you're looking to boost your retirement savings, taking advantage of catch-up contributions is a smart move. These catch-up contributions allow you to put more money into your account, which can significantly increase your retirement savings over time. However, there are limitations and rules to consider, such as age restrictions and eligibility requirements.

By understanding these details and planning accordingly, you can maximize the benefits of catch-up contributions and secure a more comfortable retirement.