Understanding Employee Benefits and key developments in the employee benefits field and items of interest to our clients. MORE

On October 19, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2018 cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions for qualified retirement plans. The Notice providing the cost-of-living adjustments is available here.  The Service also announced various other inflation adjustments in a new revenue procedure (including an adjustment to the dollar limitation for flexible spending accounts).  The Service previously announced the adjustments for Health Savings Accounts earlier this year.  Last week, the Social Security Administration also announced its cost-of-living adjustments for the upcoming year.

The following chart summarizes the 2018 limits for benefit plans. The 2017 limits are provided for reference.

UPDATE: The Social Security Administration changed its cost-of-living adjustments for 2018 on November 27, 2017. The chart has been updated to reflect this change.


2017 2018
Elective Deferral Limit 401(k), 403(b), 457(b) $18,000 $18,500
Catch-up Limit (age 50+) $6,000 $6,000
Defined Benefit Limit $215,000 $220,000
Defined Contribution Limit $54,000 $55,000
Dollar Limit – Highly Compensated Employees $120,000 $120,000
Officer – Key Employee $175,000 $175,000
Annual Compensation Limit $270,000 $275,000
SEP Eligibility Compensation Limit $600 $600
SIMPLE Deferral Limit $12,500 $12,500
SIMPLE Catch-up Limit (age 50+) $3,000 $3,000
Social Security Taxable Wage Base $127,200 $128,400
ESOP 5 Year Distribution Extension Account Minimum $1,080,000 $1,105,000
Additional Amount for 1-Year Extension $215,000 $220,000
HSA (Self/Family) Maximum Annual Contribution $3,400/$6,750 $3,450/$6,900
HDHP Minimum Deductible Limits $1,300/$2,600 $1,350/$2,700
Out-of-pocket Expense Annual Maximum $6,550/$13,100 $6,650/$13,300
Medical FSA $2,600 $2,650


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