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401K Catch Up

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401K Pre- and Post-Tax

The standard transaction type for 401K deduction has the pre-tax deduction code of 401K Deferral Reg. This means that the transaction type will deduct from the employee's pay pre-tax for taxes other than FICA and Medicare. However, it will only do so for the first $19,500 deducted. Any amount thereafter will be deducted, but it will be post-tax. 

This is because the code (401K Deferral Reg) is meant to be used for people under 50 or as the first $19,500 that people over 50 are allowed. After that, a new transaction type needs to be used to account for the next $6,500 for which a person over 50 is eligible. 

The "Over 50" deduction needs to be added as a new transaction type that is used specifically for the $6,500 allowed for people over 50. This new transaction type will need to have its pre-tax deduction code set to 401K CU2 Over 50 Reg. This pre-tax deduction code is applied in Admin Tools > Transaction Type > Detail tab.

Create an "Over 50" Transaction Type

You will need to create a new transaction type to account for the 401K deductions that need to be taken post-tax. To create this new transaction type:

  1. Open Admin Tools > Transaction Type > Detail 

  2. Click Add New 

  3. Name this transaction type "401K Catch-up" or something that will prompt your users to understand it is for those over 50.

  4. Set the Type field to Permanent Deduction or Deduction + Contribution (use the Deduction + Contribution option if you are contributing to employee's 401K plans as well as deducting from the employee)

  5. Set the Deduction Category to Retirement

  6. The Pre Tax Deduction code must be 401K CU2 Over 50 Reg. This is the most important step!

  7. Select all the branches with which this deduction should be shared.

  8. Click Save




To get an employee back on track and ready to deduct the next $6,000 pretax, you will need to do a few things. 

  1. Create the new transaction type in Admin Tools > Transaction Type

  2. Add the 401K Catch-up transaction type to the employee's record in Employee > Deduction and set the Yearly Limit to $6,000. Be sure to make the deduction Active as well.

    Note: If you are also contributing to the 401K plan as the employer, be sure to add a contribution for the 401K Catch Up as well.

  3. Set 401K PreTax to have a yearly limit of 19,500 and keep it Active.

  4. Reverse the employee's check that had 401K deducted post-tax. Be sure to generate original pay units and produce a new check for the employee. 

    NOTE: You should only reverse this check if the employee has already received the funds or if the funds are on an ACH file that has already been accepted by the bank. If you still have the check in hand and the employee will not receive it, you will void the check instead. Make sure you also generate original pay units and produce a new check. 


With the employee's deductions set as outlined above, the 401K deduction will take whatever its last bits are up to $19,500. Once that value is met, then the 401K Catch-up deduction will begin. 


Best Practice for Ongoing Management

For future reference, the process of setting up an employee's deductions to deduct their full $25,000 per year goes like this: 


  1. Set up two deductions on the employee record. These would be your regular 401K deduction and 401K Catch-up transaction type. 
  2. Add the regular 401K deduction, making it Active with a Yearly Limit of $19,500. 
  3. Add the 401K Catch-up deduction, making it Inactive with a Yearly Limit of $6,500.
  4. Once $19,500 has been taken from the regular 401K deduction, it will inactivate. 
  5. Activate the 401K Catch-up on the employee record. This then is used until $6,500 is hit or the new year rolls around. Then, it would need to be set back to inactive and 401K Pre-Tax activated. 


This process is currently manual, but remember it only needs to be accounted for for employees over 50. To help manage the process, use the Employee Deduction & Contribution List AQ to review 401K deductions for employees who are approaching their $19,500 yearly limit.

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