IRS Announces 2021 Pension Limits

The IRS has issued the annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to various pension limits that will apply in 2021. For 2021, the maximum annual benefit payable under a defined benefit plan remains at $230,000, and the elective deferral limit under a 401(k) plan or 403(b) plan remains at $19,500. Several key 2021 pension limits, as well as the Social Security taxable wage base, are noted in the chart below, along with prior years' limits.





Maximum Annual Pension Benefit




Maximum Contribution to a DC Plan




Maximum Elective 401(k), 403(b), and 457 Deferrals




Qualified Plan Compensation Limit




Social Security Taxable Wage Base





View Notice 2020-79  for additional  IRS COLAs for 2021. For Social Security changes, including the Taxable Wage Base, refer to the 2021 Social Security Changes Fact Sheet at

If you have any questions about these or other limits or about their impact on your plan, please contact your Cheiron consultant.

Cheiron is an actuarial consulting firm that provides actuarial and consulting advice. However, we are neither attorneys nor accountants. Accordingly, we do not provide legal services or tax advice.