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The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and investment management.


Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's premier ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has seven offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 32 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and five paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Seven of the attorneys are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and six are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.  Seven of the firm's attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2017, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.




Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110


Washington, D.C.

Tel: (202) 969-2800


Fax: (202) 969-2568

 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Suite 810

Washington, D.C. 20006



Tel: (847) 990-9034

Fax: (847) 557-1312

190 South LaSalle Street

Suite 2100

Chicago, IL 60603



Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

300 Montgomery Street

Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
25 W. Moody Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63119 







   IRS Reduces HSA Contribution Limits for Family HDHP Coverage


March 8, 2018





The IRS has released Revenue Procedure 2018-18 to implement certain changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("Act").  One of the changes affecting health and welfare plans is a change to the methodology used by the IRS to calculate cost of living increases, including certain annual contribution limits.

Background.  HSA contribution limits are typically announced before the tax year to which they apply and generally remain unchanged throughout the tax year.  However, the reduction in the HSA contribution limit for 2018 comes as a result of a provision contained in the Act that requires the use of a "Chained CPI"  to calculate cost of living increases.



Chained CPI is a method for calculating inflation that takes into account the fact that as prices rise some consumers switch to lower priced products, thereby reducing inflation.  The result is that over time the Chained CPI will produce lower cost of living increases. 

2018 HSA Contribution Limit.  The use of Chained CPI to calculate cost of living increases has resulted in the IRS reducing the previously released annual maximum family contribution limit to a Health Savings Account ("HSA") from $6,900 to $6,850 in 2018. 

This reduction applies immediately, which means that any family contribution to an HSA in 2018 that exceeds $6,850 will be subject to taxes and penalties.  Accordingly, employees who have contributed more than the maximum amount for 2018 must request a refund of the excess contribution before the due date for their 2018 income tax filings.

The IRS provides the following confirmation about HSAs in Rev. Proc. 2018-18:


  • The individual contribution limit for HSAs remains unchanged at $3,450. 
  • Other HSA-related limits, such as the minimum deductible for an HSA-qualified high deductible health plan ("HDHP"), maximum out of pocket limits for HSA-qualified plans, and the catch-up contribution limit, remain unchanged. 
  • A HDHP continues to be defined as a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,350 for self-only coverage or $2,700 for family coverage, and the annual opt-of-pocket maximums do not exceed $6,650 for self-only coverage and $13,300 for family coverage.   

Other Welfare Benefit Limits.  Rev. Proc. 2018-18 further confirms that use of Chained CPI to calculate cost of living increases requires a reduction in certain limits applicable to Adoption Assistance Programs.  For taxable years beginning in 2018, the maximum amount that can be excluded from an employee's gross income for qualified adoption expenses is reduced from $13,840 to $13,810.  And the adjusted gross income threshold after which the adoption exclusion begins to phase out is reduced to $207,140.

Although the requirement for using Chained CPI to determine inflation-related increases applies to Flexible Spending Accounts and Commuter or Transit Benefits, the 2018 limits for these benefits are not immediately impacted.






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This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.