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Yes, you are responsible for ensuring your combined contributions to both 401k plans do not exceed $10K in the aggregate.

I figured it was too much to hope that I would win out this way by changing jobs ;) I guess I'll just be satisfied with the fact I can roll the 401(k) from my previous employer into a self-directed IRA.

Therefore, you have to stay alert and ensure your current contributions cease at $8K.

And as an aside it is presumably important to set the deferral percentage such that I don't hit the limit before my last pay check in the year. Otherwise I would lose some "free money" from the employer match I would miss out on.

p.s. thanks also to 2gifts and JoeMiller. From pub.17 I found a reference to pub.575 which covers this subject in a chapter titled "Limits on Exclusion for Elective Deferrals". Same chapter also mentions the catch-up limits for section 457 plans that I think others referred to, although I didn't read much since I don't have such a plan.
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