By Anna Prior
Question: I contribute to a 401(k) and a 403(b). How do I calculate the maximum limit I’m allowed to contribute? Is it per account or per individual? My 401(k) contribution could also be made to a Roth account within the plan.
– Lisa Simmons, Lincoln, Neb.
Answer: It’s nice to have options. But according to the IRS, the limit is per individual. For 2012, if you’re under 50, you can contribute no more than $17,000 combined to your employer savings plans. (It was $16,500 last year.) The fact that your plan includes a Roth account doesn’t change the limit—which, incidentally, pertains only to your contributions, not to your employers’. That said, your savings may be more valuable in a Roth account, says Jean Fullerton, a partner at WJM Financial in Bedford, N.H. Unlike with a regular 401(k), she says, you’ll likely owe no taxes on Roth withdrawals in retirement.