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It sounds like the letter may be in error. Check with your HR folks to make sure that what the letter said is accurate. I have been in restricted status for a while on plans of this type, and a more typical HC restriction is 12% before tax, and 3% after tax, for a total of 15% gross, with a maximum of $10K pretax, the balance of the 12% rolled to after tax along with the 3% after tax that can be elected up front... and the programs tend not to be well understood by all the HR-Finance folks. I guess that is understandable, since there are a lot of numbers there that can lead to confusion. Anyway, check with a real live human that actually understands the plan before giving up on it!

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