Today the IRS announced in Notice 2018-83 the cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019.

Most limits will increase for 2019, including the 401(a)(17) compensation limit, the 402(g) elective deferral limit, and the annual income threshold to qualify as a highly compensated employee. The catch-up elective deferral limit will stay at $6,000 for 2019.

A comparison of the key 2018 and 2019 retirement plan limits follows:

2018 2019
Maximum Elective Deferrals to 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) Plans under § 402(g) $18,500 $19,000
Maximum Catch-up Elective Deferrals to Plans other than SIMPLE Plans (age 50 by the end of the year) $6,000 $6,000
Annual Compensation Limit under §§ 401(a)(17), 404(l) and 408(k) $275,000 $280,000
Highly Compensated Employee definition under § 414(q) for annual income $120,000 $125,000
Section 415 Limits

– Defined Contribution Plan Maximum Annual Addition

– Defined Benefit Plan Maximum Annual Benefit





Dollar amount in the definition of a “key employee” in a top-heavy plan under § 416(i) $175,000 $180,000
Maximum ESOP Account Balance Subject to 5-Year Distribution Period under § 409(o) $1,105,000 $1,130,000
ESOP Amount Used to Determine Extensions of the 5-Year Distribution Period $220,000 $225,000
Maximum Roth IRA Contribution (AGI Limit) under § 408A – Married Filing Joint Return or Qualifying Widower – All other Taxpayers (other than married filing separately) $189,000$120,000 $193,000 $122,000
Social Security Taxable Wage Base (SSA announced October 11, 2018) $128,400 $132,900