IRS Announces 2019 Pension and Related Limitations

November 7, 2018

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the dollar limitations for pension plans and other items beginning January 1, 2019. Some of the limits are listed below.

Maximum Annual Compensation taken into account for determining benefits or contributions to a qualified plan
$275,000 $280,000
Basic Elective Deferral Limitation for 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) Plans1
 $18,500 $19,000
Catch-up Contribution Limit for Persons Age 50 and older in 401(k), 403(b) or SARSEP Plans
$6,000 $6,000
Limitation on Annual Additions to a Defined Contribution Plan2
$55,000 $56,000
Limitation on Annual Benefits from a Defined Benefit Plan3
$220,000 $225,000
Highly Compensated Employee Compensation Threshold4
$120,000 $125,000
SEP Compensation Threshold
$600 $600
Social Security Taxable Wage Base for Social Security Tax (6.2%)  $128,700 $132,900
For Medicare Tax (1.45% / 2.35%)
No Limit No Limit
Health Savings Accounts: 
        • Individual Contribution Limit
        • Family Contribution Limit
        • Catch-Up Contributions


Health Flexible Spending Accounts5 $2,650 $2,6506


If you have any questions about this memorandum, please contact any member of our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group listed below.

Buffalo: (716) 566-2800
John C. Godsoe
Robert W. Patterson

Long Island: (516) 267-6300
Terry O’Neil

New York City: (646) 253-2300
Michael P. Collins

Rochester: (585) 362-4700
John C. Godsoe

Syracuse: (315) 218-8000
Stephen C. Daley
Brian K. Haynes
Aaron M. Pierce


Click here to visit Bond’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice web page.

1  This limit and the catch-up limit also apply to Roth (after-tax) contributions under 401(k) and 403(b) plans that permit such contributions.
2  In no event may annual additions exceed 100% of a participant’s compensation.
3  In no event may a participant’s annual benefit exceed 100% of the participant’s average compensation for the participant’s high three years.
4  Generally, an employee is considered “highly compensated” if the employee:
        (a) was a five-percent owner of the employer at any time during the current or preceding year; or 
        (b) received compensation from the employer in the preceding year of more than the applicable dollar limit for that year.
5  This limit applies only to voluntary employee salary reduction (pre-tax) contributions.
6  This amount has been projected to increase to $2,700. However, as of November 8, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service has not confirmed the new limit.