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My question is, can I still contribute up to the annual limit into my 401k for 2006 even though I am no longer employed at that company? I will not be eligible to contribute into my new employers 401k plan until the summer of 2007, so if I can't contribute into my old plan for 2006, I will miss out on the contribution and also on the tax savings that goes with it. And because of the job change, we relocated mid-year 2006 and my wife had not contributed up to her max into her SIMPLE IRA at her old job. Can she still contribute up to her max as well for 2006, even though she no longer works at her old employer?

Sorry, you are out of luck with both the 401(k) and SIMPLE IRA contributions.....Both plans are salary reduction plans, so contributions are required to come out of your paycheck during the tax year. Since it is now 2007, it is too late to contribute for 2006, even if you were still employed by the companies.

And if we can't contribute to the 401k and/or SIMPLE any more for 2006, are we precluded from contributing to a standard IRA for 2006 (because we were each "officially" covered by a company retirement plan, even though mine was only for 5 days of 2006)???

As long as you have earned income of at least your contribution amount, you are allowed to contribute to a traditional IRA - the question is, will the contribution be deductible? The rule says, for MFJ, that if you or your spouse were covered by a retirement plan at any time during the tax year, you may make a fully deductible contribution if your MAGI is $70k or less; a partially deductible contribution if your MAGI is more than $70k and up to $80k, and a non-deductible contribution if your MAGI is more than $80k. See IRS Publication 590 ( ) for details.

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