The IRS has announced an increase in the “public transit subsidy” tax-free maximum for 2019 from $260 to $265 a month. Some agencies offer that benefit, commonly in the form of fare passes, as a subsidy for commuting via public transportation, while at others employees instead may devote up to the same amount from salary pre-tax for those purposes; terms may be set by union contracts. A similar but rarely used authority applies to paying for parking at public transit stations.

The IRS meanwhile announced that the annual limit on health care FSAs for 2019 will be $2,700, up by $50. Those accounts—one must be elected each year for the following year; the open season to do so ends December 10—allow employees (but not retirees) to set aside pre-tax money to pay costs copayments, deductibles and costs not covered by health insurance. The $5,000 limit on dependent care FSAs is not changing.


Earlier the IRS had announced that the standard investment maximum in the TSP and similar retirement savings plans is rising by $500 to $19,000 for 2019, although the “catch-up contribution” additional investment allowed for those age 50 and older will remain $6,000.