The beginning of the new year is a good time to check your workplace retirement accounts to review your contributions.
For 2018, the contribution limit for 401k, 403b and 457 workplace retirement plans is $18,500, up from $18,000 in 2017. If you’re age 50 or over, you can contribute an extra $6,000.
And it’s always a good idea to make sure you are taking full advantage of your employer match.
There may be no such thing as a free lunch. But the 401k employer match comes pretty close.
Nearly all companies with 401k plans offer some sort of 401k employer match program. While the match specifics vary by company, under the most common program the employer matches the employee’s contribution dollar-for-dollar up to 6 percent of the worker’s annual salary.
Maximizing the employer match is one of the smartest retirement savings decisions you can make because you’re essentially adding free money to your 401k account. The 401k employer match also provides an immediate return on your investment. Plus, the money your employer contributes does not count toward the $18,500 that the Internal Revenue Service lets you contribute annually.
Any way you look at it, the 401k employer match is an easy way to boost your retirement savings.
Let’s look at an example that shows how the 401k employer match works. Suppose you earn $100,000 and elect to sock away $10,000 annually in your 401k account. And suppose that your employer matches your contributions up to 6 percent of your total salary. In this scenario, the company would contribute $6,000 to your 401k, bringing the total annual contribution up to $16,000.
A recent study of participation in 401k employer match programs found that workers who don’t save enough to receive the full company match miss out on an average of $1,336 annually. What’s worse? Over 20 years, the forfeited match payments become more than $42,000 when compounded at a 4.4 percent return.
To make sure that you’re taking full advantage of your 401k employer match:
- Check your 401k plan’s website
- Adjust your contributions if necessary
- Contact one of our advisors today for guidance on contributions, investment selections and more advice on how to best save for your retirement
*Past performance is not an indicator of future results. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. The statements contained herein are solely based upon the opinions of Elevage Partners, LLC (“Elevage”). Elevage is a registered investment adviser. More information about the firm can be found in its Form ADV Part 2, which may be requested by calling (877) 922-8243 or visiting http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. The information contained herein is derived from sources we believe to be reliable, but which we have not independently verified. Elevage assumes no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions in this information. Elevage reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs. The information provided in this report should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. There is no assurance that any securities discussed herein will remain in an account’s portfolio at the time you receive. It should not be assumed that any of the securities transactions, holdings or sectors discussed were, or will prove to be profitable, or that the investment recommendations or decisions Elevage makes in the future will be profitable or will equal the investment performance of the securities discussed herein.