Planning for the Future

The contribution limit of a 401(k) will increase by $500 on January 1, 2019. While it may not seem like much, contributing $500 more per year and thus making continual sacrifices throughout an entire career can add up to a meaningful difference, helping to fund a more comfortable retirement.


  • Over the past two decades the 401(k) contribution limit rose by an average of about $450 each year. Assuming the limit continues to rise in line with history, increasing the amount you contribute to a retirement account by $500 each year would boost your total amount saved over 40 years by $390,000 relative to contributing the same amount each year. This, for example, would mean contributing $5,000 in year 1, $5,500 in year 2, $6,000 in year 3 and so on. 

  • Importantly, if one were able to achieve a 7% annual return over 40 years, the incremental return of the additional contributions would be even larger at just over $750,000. 

  • Together the incremental contributions and return would boost cumulative savings over a 40-year period by over $1,100,000. 

  • Investors should take that $500 per year retirement contribution increase seriously–those extra savings can add up in the long term.

The views expressed are the views of Fred Alger Management, Inc. as of December 2018. These views are subject to change at any time and they do not guarantee the future performance of the markets, any security or any funds managed by Fred Alger Management, Inc. These views are not meant to provide investment advice and should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell securities. 

This material must be accompanied by the most recent fund fact sheet(s) if used in connection with the sale of mutual fund shares.

This document contains a general, high level summary of certain considerations applicable to qualified retirement plans. This summary does not purport to be a complete description of all the considerations applicable to a plan, plan sponsor, fiduciary or participant and it should not be considered to be guidance of any kind regarding a specific plan or situation and should not be relied upon as such. The summary is based upon general principles in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), as well as certain guidance issued under the Code and ERISA that may be applicable, all as currently in effect at the time that this summary was drafted, and all of which are subject to change or to differing interpretations, possibly retroactively, which could affect the continuing validity of this summary. There should be no anticipation that this summary has been, or will be, updated for any developments in the law or interpretation. 

Tax and ERISA matters are very complicated and the consequences to plans, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and participants will depend on the facts of a particular situation. We encourage retirement plan sponsors, fiduciaries and participants to consult their own advisors regarding these matters, including applicable federal, state, local and foreign laws and the effect of any possible changes in the law. 

Risk Disclosure: Investing in the stock market involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Many technology companies have limited operating histories and prices of these companies' securities have historically been more volatile than other securities, especially over the short term. Technology companies may also face increased competition, government regulation, and risk of obsolescence due to progress in technological developments.

Fred Alger & Company, Incorporated 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010 /

800.305.8547 (Retail) / 212.806.8869 (Institutional)