IRA/ESA Accounts

How much can I contribute into my IRA (or Roth IRA) each year?

The IRS sets the yearly contribution limit, and the maximum amount you contribute varies from year to year. As a bonus, individuals over the age of 50 can make a "Catch Up Contribution," which is a higher dollar amount than the normal, maximum yearly contribution.

If you own multiple IRAs, the annual contribution limit applies to all IRAs you own.

Maximum Annual IRA Contributions
Tax Year Maximum Contribution Amount Maximum Contribution
Amount (age 50 and older)
2013 $5,500 $5,500 + $1,000 Catch Up Contribution
2014 $5,500 $5,500 + $1,000 Catch Up Contribution

Tip: If your total earned income for a tax year is less than the maximum contribution amount, you may not contribute in excess of your total earned income for that year.

Lastly, trade commissions count toward the annual contribution limit.

How much can I contribute into my ESA each year?

The IRS has set the maximum yearly contribution for an ESA (Education Savings Account) at $2,000 per minor. If multiple ESAs have been opened for the benefit of the Designated Beneficiary, the total of all contributions to all ESAs may not exceed the $2,000 annual contribution limit.

In addition to the maximum contribution amount, there are income limits for the individuals who are making the contributions (such as parents, grandparents, friends, etc.). Corporations and other entities may make contributions to an ESA without being restricted by these income limits:

Income Limits For ESA Contributions
Tax Filing Status Income
Single MAGI below $110k (Subject to phase-out starting at $95k)
Joint MAGI below $220k (Subject to phase-out starting at $190k)

Tip: Individuals who contribute to an Education Savings Account aren't required to have earned income. Contributions made to an Education Savings Accounts do not provide a tax break or tax deduction for the person who makes the contribution.

For the most up to date tax and contribution information, and/or help determining your ability to contribute to an Education Savings Account, please contact your tax advisor.

Tip: Trade commissions count toward the annual contribution limit.

What distribution options are available for IRA/ESA accounts?

IRA/Roth IRA
You have the option of selecting from the following choices as the reason for making your withdrawal request:

  • Normal: You are age 59½ or older.
  • Early with no known exception: You are under age 59½—a 10% early distribution penalty may be assessed by the IRS on your individual tax return.
  • Early with exception: You're under age 59½ and a known penalty exception applies (including substantially equal periodic payments, first time home purchase, IRS levy, or qualified medical, health insurance or higher education expenses).
  • Disability: Please include a copy of a physician's statement or letter from the Social Security office confirming your disability along with the required form.
  • Death Beneficiary Distribution: Along with a paper-form distribution request, mail a certified copy of the death certificate for the account owner. All paperwork must be originals—no photocopies or faxes allowed.
  • Removal of Excess Contribution: Requires a paper form—on the form, please indicate the amount you've over-contributed to your IRA, any applicable earnings, and the tax year associated with the contribution you wish to have distributed.

ESA
You have the option of selecting from the following choices as the reason for making the withdrawal request:

  • Normal: The distribution is used for education expenses—view additional information about qualified and non-qualified education expenses.
  • Disability: Please include a copy of a physician's statement or letter from the Social Security office confirming your disability along with the required form.
  • Death Beneficiary Distribution: Along with a paper-form distribution request, mail a certified copy of the death certificate for the account owner. All paperwork must be originals—no photocopies or faxes allowed. We will contact you if additional paperwork is required.
  • Removal of Excess Contribution: You have over-contributed to your ESA and have decided to remove the excess amount—you'll need to designate the excess contribution amount, applicable earnings and tax year associated with the contribution you wish to have distributed (requires form to be filled out).