IRS Announces the 2017 Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently announced retirement pension plans’ applicable cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for the tax year 2017. Some of the key limits for the tax years 2017 and 2016 of importance to Puerto Rico tax qualified plans are as follows with changes underlined:

2016 2017
Annual Benefit Limitation for Defined Benefit Plans $210,000 $215,000
Annual Compensation Limit $265,000 $270,000
Annual Contribution Limitation for Defined Contribution Plans $53,000 $54,000
Highly Compensated Employee Threshold $120,000 $120,000
Elective Deferrals Limit – (Applicable in Puerto Rico to Dual Qualified
Plans and
Federal Government Thrift Savings Plan)
$18,000 $18,000
Catch-up Contributions – (Applicable in Puerto Rico to Federal Government Thrift Savings Plan) $6,000 $6,000


This announcement generally applies to qualified plans under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “US Code”). However, employers and administrators of tax qualified plans under the Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Code of 2011, as amended (the “PR Code”), must be aware that Section 1081.01(h) of the PR Code requires that, before every taxable year, the Puerto Rico Treasury Department (the “PRTD”) notify the cost-of-living adjustments announced by the IRS that will, in turn, apply to plans qualified under the PR Code. Accordingly, it is expected that the PRTD issues upcoming guidance to announce these same plan limits for PR Code tax qualified plans for the tax year 2017 as it did last year in PRTD Circular Letter of Tax Policy No. 15-16. We will update you as soon as we receive confirmation from the PRTD to this end.

by René Avilés García, Esq. and Reinaldo Díaz-Pérez, Esq., Ferraiuoli LLC