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2022 Solo 401(k) Contribution Limits & Maximum Deferrals

2022 Solo 401(k) Contribution Limits

Each year, the IRS adjusts the Solo 401(k) contribution limits mainly due to cost-of-living increases. Some years, there is little if any change. Others, like 2022, there is a nice bump to what you can save annually. Currently, the Solo 401(k) contribution limits are $58,000 or $64,500 if you at least age 50. The 2022 Solo 401(k) contribution limits will increase those totals. Here is what you can expect to see next year.

2021 401(k) Contribution Limits

  • Employee Deferral – $19,500
  • Employer Contribution – $38,500
  • Catch-up Contribution – $6,500
  • Total Contribution Limit – $58,000 or $64,500 for those age 50 and older

2022 401(k) Contribution Limits

  • Employee Deferral – $20,500
  • Employer Contribution – $40,500
  • Catch-up Contribution – $6,500
  • Total Contribution Limit – $61,000 or $67,500 for those age 50 and older

What Does it All Mean?

For the past two years, the employee deferral has remained the same at $19,500. For 2022, you can contribute an additional $1,000 to a 401(k) plan. However, the catch-up contribution, for those at least age 50, remains the same as 2021. The employer contribution increased a whopping $3,000 from 2021, which means you may contribute a lot more money as the employer.

Those with self-employment income can contribute as both the employee and employer. This means anyone with a Solo 401(k) plan may contribute up to $67,500, an increase of $3,000. A percentage of your business/self-employment income is used to determine the amount you can contribute as the employer. The compensation used for this calculation also increases to $305,000, which is $15,000 more than 2021.

Further, if your employer allows for them, you can contribute after-tax funds up to the new annual limit of $67,500. However, the recently-updated tax proposal has closed the “backdoor” on after-tax conversions. Beginning in 2022, you will no longer be able to convert after-tax funds to a Roth. As a result, making after-tax contributions to a 401(k) may not be a wise decision.

It’s important to keep in mind, that the overall contribution limit is for all 401(k) plans and types of contributions in the aggregate. Therefore, if you contribute to a 401(k) plan through your employer, this lessens the amount you can save in a Solo 401(k) plan. Obviously, if you only have one 401(k) plan, you may contribute the maximum to that plan.

Explaining the Solo 401(k) Contributions

Elective Deferral

As an employee, you have the option to make the Elective Deferral, also known as an employee contribution. For 2022, the Solo 401(k) maximum contribution limit for the elective deferral is $20,500 if you’re 50 and under. This is an increase of $1,000 from 2021.

The elective deferral contribution if you’re 50 and older is $27,000, again, a $1,000 increase from 2021. Employee deferral contributions can be made in pretax or Roth.

Profit Sharing

The Solo 401(k) Profit Sharing Contribution is also known as the Employer Contribution. For 2022, you can make a contribution of $40,500, which is an increase of $2,000 from 2021, no matter your age. Unlike the employee deferral contribution, which is a dollar-for-dollar contribution, the Solo 401(k) plan employer contribution is based on a percentage of earned income.

You may contribute up to 20% or 25% of your self-employment income. Please note that these contributions can only be made pretax, and not Roth.

Total Limit for Couples 

Your spouse can participate in the Solo 401(k) Plan if he/she earns compensation from a business. He or she can make separate and equal contributions. This increases the annual contribution to $122,000 (under age 50) or $135,000 (50+) that a couple can make for 2022.

Saver’s Credit

The saver’s credit is an incentive for low- and moderate-income earners. This tax credit is provided to those people who save for retirement, who are under certain income thresholds. To receive the credit, your annual income must fall below $68,000 if you are married filing jointly (up $2,000 from 2021), $51,000 if you file as a head of household (up $1,500) or $34,000 if you are a single filer or married filing separately (up $1,000).


As you can see, there are big changes to the 2022 Solo 401(k) contribution limits. Everyone with a 401(k) plan may contribute an additional $1,000. If you are self-employed, you can contribute a whopping $3,000 more.

If you want more information about the Solo 401(k) and how it works, please give us a call @ 800.472.0646. We can answer any questions you have about the Solo 401(k), if you are eligible and how to set one up. More than ever, 2022 may be the best time to go into business for yourself!


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