The IRS recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments effective in 2012 for the various dollar limits that apply to employee benefit plans. Highlights for health and welfare plans include the following:

  • Parking and Transportation. In 2012, the limit on the monthly amount that can be excluded from income for qualified parking expenses under a qualified transportation fringe benefit plan has increased to $240. The aggregate monthly limit for transit passes and/or transportation in a commuter highway vehicle has decreased to $125.
  • Health Savings Accounts. The maximum annual contribution to a health savings account (HSA) will increase in 2012. For single coverage, the limit is $3,100. For family coverage, the limit is $6,250. The additional “catch-up” HSA contribution that can be made by individuals age 55 or older is fixed by statute at $1,000 for 2012. The minimum deductible required to qualify as a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) in 2012 for purposes of the HSA rules remains at $1,200 for single coverage and $2,400 for family coverage in 2012. The corresponding limits on HDHP out-of-pocket maximums will increase to $6,050 for single coverage and $12,100 for family coverage in 2011.
  • Adoption Assistance. The exclusion for employer-provided adoption assistance will decrease to $12,650 per child in 2012. In 2012, the exclusion begins to phase out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income above $189,710 and is eliminated for taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $229,710 or more.