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The IRS has announced the 1999 limits for qualified benefit plans. Due to low inflation, they are unchanged from 1998 and are as follows:

Elective contributions to 401k plans: $10K

Section 401a(17) recognizable pay in retirement plans: $160K

Maximum salary reduction for 403b plans: $10K

Maximum contribution to 457 deferred compensation plans: $8K

In addition to the above, Social Security recipients will receive a 1.3% increase in Jan 99 applicable to the Dec 98 benefit. The FICA rate remains at 7.65%, but the taxable wage base will rise to $72,600 in 1999. The maximum monthly benefit for a worker retiring at age 65 in 1999 will be $1,373. For an age 62 worker it's $1,191. A retiree drawing Social Security under the age of 65 may earn a maximum of $9,600 in 1999 before any forfeiture of Social Security payments begins. Between age 65 and 70, the earnings limit will rise to $15,500.

The deductible for Medicare Part A will be $768 in 1999. The daily coinsurance for a hospital stay is $0 for the first 60 days; $192 per day for day 61 through day 90; and $384 per day for the 60 lifetime reserve days. The 1999 daily charge for post-hospital skilled nursing home stays is $96 per day for the 21st through 100th days. The patient pays 100% of the cost beyond 100 days. The 1999 monthly premium for Medicare Part B will be $45.50 per person.

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