Here's your answer I think. It's dated but the rules are the same I believe (goto http://invest-faq.com/articles/ret-plan-401k.html for more details...)"Ok, let's talk about the IRS limits already. First, a person's maximum before-tax contribution (i.e., 401(k) limit) for 2001 is $10,500 (same as 2000, but will change in 2002). It's important to understand this limit. This figure indicates only the maximum amount that the employee can contribute from his/her pre-tax earnings to all of his/her 401(k) accounts. It does not include any matching funds that the employer might graciously throw in. Further, this figure is not reduced by monies contributed towards many other plans (e.g., an IRA). And, if you work for two or more employers during the year, then you have the responsibility to make sure you contribute no more than that year's limit between the two or more employers' 401k plans. If the employee "accidentally" contributes more than the pre-tax limit towards his or her 401(k) account, the employer must move the excess, or the excess contribution amount due to a smaller limit imposed by an imbalance of highly compensated employees, into a 401(a) account."
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