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Roth 401(k) Knowledgebase

COLAs (cost-of-living adjustments)

COLAs (cost-of-living adjustments)  After 2006, the individual 401(k) and catch-up limits increase based on the annual COLA in minimum increments of $500. 

401(k) Individual Contribution Limits




with COLA*


with COLA*


with COLA*

401(k) Limit






Catch-up Limit       (age 50 or older)



$5,500 $5,500


*Limits shown for 2011-2013 are estimated based on historical increases.  In general, the annual COLA is calculated by comparing the rise in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the prior year to the corresponding period of the current year.

Example: 401(k) Limit COLA (cost-of-living adjustments)

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