Does 401k contribution count as earned income?

Although these amounts are not considered current income for federal income tax purposes, they are included as wages subject to social security (FICA), Medicare and federal unemployment taxes (FUTA). Social Security defines “earned income” as the salary of a job or the net income from self-employment, and only takes into account earned income when calculating whether and to what extent you should withhold your benefits. It doesn't take into account pensions, retirement account distributions, annuities, or interest and dividends on your savings and investments. Similarly, contributions to your IRA or 401 (k) cannot be deducted from income for income testing purposes.

Social Security uses your gross income before tax-deferred allowances to determine your income. AARP is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that allows people to choose how to live as they age. Your email address is now confirmed. Traditional 401 (k) plan contributions effectively reduce both adjusted gross income (AGI) and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI).

Participants can defer part of their salaries and request tax deductions for that year. With tax-deferred 401 (k) plans, workers set aside part of their salary before withholding federal and state income taxes. These plans allow you to save taxes today. Money taken from your net salary and destined for a 401 (k) plan reduces your taxable income, so you now pay less income taxes.