2024 Plan Information


Whether retirement is 30 years away or around the corner, the Firm’s 401(k) Plan helps you build a solid tomorrow.

If you’re a US benefits-eligible employee, you can participate in this Firm-sponsored retirement plan anytime on or after your hire date (or the date you became an eligible employee, if later). You make tax-deferred contributions to the plan, up to the annual limits set by the IRS. Taxes are deferred until you start withdrawing money upon retirement.

Setting Up Your Plan

Enroll in the plan on the Benefit Center: Type benefits in your intranet browser and enter the credentials you use to log on to your Firm computer. From home, go to It may take up to five business days after your start date before you can log on to the Benefit Center and enroll.


You can contribute 1% to 50% of your base salary, cash bonus (if applicable) and commissions or incentive compensation (if applicable). You may set different percentages for each type of pay and adjust those rates throughout the year. If you wish to increase the amount you contribute each year, set up auto-escalate.

There are two ways to contribute:

  • Before-tax contributions – Your contributions are deducted before taxes are taken from your paycheck; you won’t pay federal income taxes, and, in most cases, state income tax, on the money in your account until you take it out.
  • Roth after-tax contributions – Your contributions are deducted after taxes are taken from your paycheck. Generally, investment earnings on these contributions aren’t taxed when you take your money out.

You have the option to convert all or a portion of your non-Roth 401(k) account balances to a Roth 401(k) account within the plan. If you choose to make an in-plan conversion, you will owe taxes currently on the before-tax amount you convert. Thereafter, your Roth 401(k) account, including any investment earnings, is tax-free, as long as you meet the Roth distribution requirements.

The Company Match

The Firm matches a portion of your paycheck contributions, dollar for dollar, based on your eligible pay (up to the IRS limits — see below).

Your Eligible PayCompany Match

$100k to $275k2Up to 5%
>$275kUp to 4%3

1Excludes Financial Advisors and Branch Management.
2Excludes Advisory Directors and Senior Advisors.
3The 2024 IRS limit on employee compensation for calculating contributions is $345,000.
4Up to 4%, plus an additional non-matching 2% fixed contribution

Here’s what you need to know about the company match:

  • Your before-tax and Roth after-tax contributions are matched; however, catchup and regular non-Roth after-tax contributions are not.
  • You must be employed by the Firm on December 31 to receive that year’s match (except if you retire or your employment ends due to release, disability or death).
  • The annual Firm match is contributed to your 401(k) account as a lump sum typically at the end of January.
  • If you leave the Firm, your paycheck contributions are always yours to keep, regardless of your tenure. You are fully vested in company contributions after three years of service. Note: If you’re transferring to the US from another Morgan Stanley location, your previous service with the Firm counts toward the three-year vesting requirement.

Annual Contribution Limits

The annual IRS limits apply to contributions you make to all 401(k) plans. So, if you contributed to another 401(k) plan this year, you must consider this to ensure you don’t exceed the IRS annual maximum.

Annual IRS limits also apply when mixing before-tax and Roth after-tax contributions in 2024:

  • Age 49 and below – Your contributions are limited to $23,000.
  • Age 50 (by December 31 this year) or older– You are allowed additional catchup contributions up to $7,500 for a total of $30,500.

You may make after-tax, non-Roth contributions beyond the IRS limits and benefit from low plan fees. For 2024, total employer and employee 401(k) contributions may not exceed $68,000 for those under age 49 and $75,500 for those 50 and older.

Changing Your Contribution Amounts

To change your contribution amounts, visit the Morgan Stanley Benefits Center website and go to: Savings and Retirement > 401(k) Savings Plan > Change Contributions and designate the rate of pay by pay type. If you want to set your contributions to increase automatically, you can set your initial contribution rates and then enter annual increase and target rate percentages.

Investing Your Funds

The plan offers 40 investment options with preferred fees that are generally lower than what you could find on your own.

Options include State Street target-date funds (which have the lowest fees) and actively and passively managed funds, giving you the chance to customize your 401(k) investments. See the 401(k) Investment Guide and Fee Disclosure for details, including a glossary, fund performance and fees.

Funds are subject to market risk. The market value of a fund may decline and the value of fund shares may be more or less than what you paid for them. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in any fund.

Changing Your Investments

To choose or change your investment elections or mix, visit the Morgan Stanley Benefit Center website and go to Savings and Retirement > 401(k) Savings Plan > Change Investments and follow the instructions.

The Firm’s Trading Rules

In general, you may change your investment choices as often as you like. However, you are required to hold most funds for a minimum of 30 days. In addition, any trading restriction or window period that applies to you as a Morgan Stanley employee also applies to your plan investments in the same way that it applies to your trading accounts outside the plan. See the 401(k) Summary Plan Description for more information.


Since 401(k) plans are designed to help you save for retirement, there are penalties for taking your money out early. You’ll owe income taxes on the total amount you withdraw to the extent such amounts are taxable, and you may also owe a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

However, the Firm understands there are times you need more financial support and may choose to withdraw money from your 401(k) early – that’s why you have loan and hardship withdrawal options in case of a financial emergency. You may take out two loans at once, and you can pay any outstanding loans after leaving the Firm, take a default on your loans or take a distribution before paying of your loans. Learn more about these options in the [insert resource – is this the SPD? Or the “Your 401(k) after leaving the Firm” document?).

Did You Know?

Your plan has benefits you may not be aware of, such as:

  • You may take two loans at once and repay outstanding loans after leaving the Firm.
  • You are allowed unlimited hardship withdrawals and in-plan Roth conversions in the plan.
  • You may keep your money in the plan and benefit from the low fees beyond the required minimum distribution age of 72.


Must I disclose 401(k) accounts from former employers or Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) on my Outside Business Interest form?

What’s the difference between a 401(k) loan for a primary residence and a regular loan?

May all employees participate in the 401(k) regardless of pay?

Have a 401(k) Account from a Previous Employer?

You have several options for your retirement savings assets:

  • Leave them in your former employer’s plan, if permitted
  • Roll them into the Morgan Stanley 401(k) plan
  • Roll them into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
  • Take a lump-sum distribution subject to a 20% tax and/or 10% early-withdrawal penalty
  • Take a lump-sum distribution subject to a 20% tax and/or 10% early-withdrawal penalty
  • A combination of the above