The Federal Election Commission increased the limits on the amount an individual can contribute to a candidate or national political party, as well as the overall limit on the amount an individual can give to all federal candidates and federal political committees in a two-year election cycle.

An individual can now give up to $2,600 per election to a candidate for federal office, up from $2,500.  Because contribution limits for PACs do not adjust for inflation as individual limits do, this means that a couple can now jointly contribute more to a federal candidate ($5,200 combined) than a PAC can (still $5,000).  The limit on an individual’s contributions to a national party committee increased to $32,400, up from $30,800.  The following chart shows more details on the limits for individuals in 2013 and 2014:

An individual may contribute to …
Federal   Candidates $2,600 per   election
National   party committees $32,400 per   year
State   or local party committees’ federal accounts $10,000 per   year
Federal   PACs $5,000 per   year

 

The FEC also increased the complex aggregate limits on the amount an individual can give to all candidates and federal political committees.  No individual can give more than $123,200 in total contributions to all federal candidates, parties, and PACs between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014 (up $6,200 from the last cycle).  The part that adds confusion is that there are also sub-limits on how much an individual can give to (a) all candidates, (b) all political parties and PACs, and (c) all state/local parties (federal accounts) and PACs combined.  These aggregate limits and sub-limits are best demonstrated in a chart:

Individuals who are politically active should consult legal counsel when tracking their biennial aggregate limits because there are many traps for the unwary to avoid.