IRS Releases 2011 Highly Compensated Employee Limits in IR-2010-108
In IR-2010-108, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that for 2011 the Highly Compensated Employee Limitation under §414(q)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 will remain unchanged. Non-discrimination testing in some types of retirement plans limits the deferral rate of “highly compensated employees” (HCEs) based upon the deferral rate (ADP) of the “non-highly compensated employees”.
Highly Compensated Employee Compensation Limit Remains at $110,000
For 2011, an HCE is anyone who was a “5-percent owner” at any time during 2010 or 2011 or anyone who received in excess of $110,000 in compensation during 2010 and, if elected by the employer, is in the top twenty percent of employees based upon compensation. The HCE limit was $110,000 for 2008 and 2009.
Look-back Provision Impacts HCE Testing Period
Since the law includes a look-back provision, employees who earned more than $110,000 in 2009 are generally considered HCEs for 2010 plan year testing, employees who will earn more than $110,000 in 2010 are generally considered HCEs for 2011 plan year testing, and employees who will earn more than $110,000 in 2011 are generally considered HCEs for 2012 plan year testing.
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