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Note that the $16.5K is the pretax contribution limit. There is also a total contribution limit, sum of pretax and after tax, that usually is higher--typically 25% of gross pay or so. And there can be special limits imposed on highly compensated employees (ie management), which is based on the contributions made by all employees (intended to keep the plan from being dominated by executives contributions and encourage company to get lower level employees to contribute to the plan).
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