Introduction to catch-up contributions

UC helps you save for your future with the UC Retirement Savings Program. Because you have two ways to contribute pretax dollars to your Savings Plan accounts – the UC 403(b) and 457(b) Plans – you can already double the pretax IRS limit of $23,000 for  2024.

But if you're 50 or older, the plans let you contribute even more.


If you are age 50 or older and making the maximum Plan contributions or reaching the IRS pretax limit, you can make additional pretax “catch-up” contributions. That means you can contribute up to $30,500 in each plan in 2024.


As an added bonus, the UC 403(b) and 457(b) Plans have “lifetime” and “special” catch-up provisions that may let you contribute even more. Here’s how they work:

  • No matter what age you are, lifetime catch-up contributions for the 403(b) Plan allow you to contribute an additional $3,000 per year, up to a lifetime maximum of $15,000. There is no minimum age requirement, as long as you have at least 15 years of service with UC. Once you reach age 50, you can make regular pretax contributions, regular catch-up contributions, and lifetime catch-up contributions, up to IRS limits.
  • If you’re nearing retirement, special catch-up contributions for the 457(b) Plan allow you to contribute up to twice the current year’s regular pretax contribution limit during each of your last three years at UC.

Since all of these contributions are pretax, it means you’re also lowering your taxable income. The savings is twofold: you pay less current income tax, and you’re putting more money toward your future.