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Greetings, Ed, and welcome. You wrote:

<<Does anyone have information on the Highly Compensated Employee provision of 401(k) plans. I've been contributing to my 401(k) for several years now but I think I may be moving into HCE territory this year.

I'm looking to contribute the maximum of 10K this year, but some of what I've read concerning HCE seems to say that if I'm a HCE that I won't be able to contribute the maximum.

Is my employer responsible for determining this status or is it me? Is it possible to overcontribute? What happens to that "overflow"? Will I be penalized 10% because I didn't understand whatever convoluted formula the IRS comes up with to determine my real maximum?>>

Your employer's benefits folks will keep track of this issue. Basically, if you are in the highly compensated employee group you may find your contributions limited to less than $10K. That's because the HCE's average deferral percentage may not exceed the average deferral percentage of the lower compensated group by more than 2%. In short, if the LCE as a group average a contribution of 5% of compensation, the HCE may not contribute more than 7% or $10K, whichever is less.

If you over-contribute, be assured the money will be refunded to you by your plan administrator. It then becomes taxable income. However, you will not be penalized on that refund.

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