You still have until April 15th 2012 to contribute to your 2011 IRA accounts, but the government is already one step ahead and has announced some changes to the 2012 rules. This will not only affect how you save, it will also affect direct marketing communications in the near future. One change is the allowable limit one can contribute to a 401(k) account, which was increased by $500. The new cap will be $17,000 in 2012, up from $16,500 in 2011. However, the catch-up contribution, which is the extra amount individuals 50 and older can contribute, will remain $5,500. There was also an increase to IRA income limits. While the IRA contribution limit will remain $5,000 ($6,000 for individuals 50 and older), the income limits which provide some workers with a tax break for contributing to a traditional IRA will be a little more relaxed in 2012. Roth IRA income limits are also going to be more relaxed. Those eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA must make below $110,000, but this is up $3,000 from 2011.
These may seem like small changes, but when it comes to marketing communications, banks and investment companies will focus on any little change to draw attention to their IRA accounts and encourage contributions. We might not see a heavy emphasis on these changes until late next year, when mailings encouraging IRA contributions tend to be at their peak, but they will certainly be a popular subject.