10.20.2011 Benefit limits and contributions for 2012



The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue has adjusted the dollar limitations for benefits and contributions that apply to retirement plans.  The Social Security Administration has also adjusted the Social Security earnings limit.  The change in the 2012 limits was triggered by an increase in the cost-of-living index.  The following chart shows the 2012 limits and the expiring limits for 2011.



Benefit Limits Under the Internal Revenue Code and Social Security



2012 limit

2011 limit

Compensation Cap under  401(a)(17)



Elective Deferral Limitation under 402(g)(1) for elective deferrals for 401(k) plans, SEPs and 403(b) plans



Catch Up Contributions for Individuals Age 50 and Older
   For  401(k) plans

   For SIMPLE IRAs or SIMPLE 401(k) plans






Defined Benefit Maximum



Defined Contribution Maximum



Highly Compensated Employee Compensation Limit

Key Employee in Top-Heavy Plans Compensation Limit





ESOP Threshold for determining maximum account balance subject to 5-year distribution period

   Regular Limit

   Amount to lengthen 5-year period









SEP Compensation Threshold for Participation



SIMPLE IRA  Maximum Pre-Tax Contribution



Deferral Limit for Governments and Tax-Exempts (457(b))



IRA Maximum Deduction
IRA Age 50 Catch Up



Social Security Taxable Wage Base



Health Savings Account Maximum Contributions
   Family Coverage
   Single Coverage








For more information about this topic, please contact the author or any member of the Williams Mullen Employee Benefits & Executive CompensationTeam.