What's my maximum allowed contribution to both a Roth and a regular 401k
July 31, 2013 1:09 PM   Subscribe

I have a Roth 401k from a previous employer that I've contributed to this year. I'm starting a new job where they only offer a traditional 401k. Now what?

There's a form where I'm supposed to enter previous 401k contributions, so that I don't go over the limit. The form has a very strongly worded warning that indicates that I should not include any Roth (after-tax) contributions there. The new company is giant, and has bureaucracy, so I opened a ticket asking about that. The answer I got was that I should put 0, because I had a Roth 401k. I re-opened the ticket and asked if that would result in me illegally going over my total contribution limit. The ticket got forwarded over to another department, which answered that yes, that would happen, and that I should manually manage my contributions. From what I can tell, that will be a gigantic hassle.

Why is there a very strong warning indicating that I shouldn't include Roth contributions in there? Is it not the case that my total 401k contributions from both employer funds should equal some number, regardless of what form it is? I'd expect that it should work out correctly if I just put my Roth 401k contributions into that form. Why is that not correct?
posted by suncoursing to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you provide the exact text of the "very strongly worded warning"?

I'm wondering if there is confusion here between Roth IRA accounts and Roth 401(k) contributions, which have different yearly maximum limits.

From what I understand, you are correct that your total 401(k) contributions in 2013 cannot be over $17,500 (assuming you aren't eligible for confusing catchup things).

Here is some relevant IRS stuff.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:24 PM on July 31, 2013

This form ISN'T a rollover form, correct? That wording would make a lot of sense on a rollover form, but otherwise I'm curious.

Roth 401(k) and regular 401(k) elective deferrals ARE aggregated, so if you've already made $10,000 in Roth 401(k) contribs, you've can only make $7,500 in 401(k) contribs this year at the new job.
posted by peep at 1:37 PM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

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