IRS Benefit Plan Limits for 2012

12/05/2011

The IRS has announced plan limits for 2012 for retirement plans, qualified transportation benefits, adoption assistance programs, long-term care, and medical savings accounts.

2012 Retirement Plan Limits

2012 2011
§401(k)/403(b) Elective Deferral Maximum $17,000 $16,500
§415 Defined Benefit Dollar Maximum $200,000 $195,000
§415 Defined Contribution Annual Addition Maximum $50,000 $49,000
§457(b) Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Limit $17,000 $16,500
§401(a)(17) Annual Compensation Limit $250,000 $245,000
§414(q) Highly-Compensated Employee Limit $115,000 $110,000
§414(v) Catch-up Contribution Limit $5,500 $5,500

Qualified Transportation Benefit Limits

2012 2011
Qualified Transit Limits $125 $230
Qualified Parking Limits $240 $230

Adoption Assistance Program Limits

For employer-provided adoption assistance programs, the maximum amount excludible from an employee’s income for the adoption of a child are shown below. These amounts phase-out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income that exceeds certain levels, see below.

2012 2011
Excludible amount $12,650 $13,360
Income Thresholds
Phase-out of excludible amount begins
Phase-out of excludible amount complete
$189,710
$229,710
$185,210
$225,210

Long-Term Care Premiums

The limits under Section 213 for eligible long-term care premiums that qualify as medical expenses based on attained age before the close of the taxable year are shown below.

2012 2011
Age 40 or less $350 $340
> 40 but < 50 $660 $640
> 50 but < 60 $1,310 $1,270
> 60 but < 70 $3,500 $3,390
> 70 $4,370 $4,240

Health Savings Accounts

There was a slight increase this year for both individuals and families after remaining unchanged in 2011.

  • The new contribution limits for Individual HSA Plans will be $3,100 which is a $50 increase from 2011 levels.
  • For Family Plans the new HSA contribution limits will be $6,250 or a $100 increase over 2011 levels.
  • The HSA Catch-Up Provisions for plan owners age 55 or over remains unchanged at $1,000. This means that if the participant has an individual plan they can contribute a maximum of $4,100 or $7,350 if they are in a family plan.

Medical Savings Accounts

Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) are available to employees of small businesses and self-employed individuals if they participate in high-deductible health plans.

  • For tax years beginning in 2012, the annual deductible for an MSA high-deductible health plan may not be less than $2,100 and not more than $3,150 for single coverage, and not less than $4,200 and not more than $6,300 for family coverage.
  • Also, annual out-of-pocket expenses cannot exceed $4,200 for single coverage and $7,650 for family coverage.