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All the documentation I see says 15% of wages(up to 160k) or 30k - whichever is less. I don't know how anyone gets above 24k - since that's 15% of 160,000.

The $30K is your total limit to all retirement accounts (SEP, SIMPLE, SARSEP, QRP, Keogh, 401K, 403B, etc...but not Traditional or Roth IRAs) from all sources. So if you have multiple jobs (and thus multiple plans) you have a maximum ceiling.

I have a full time job and I am self-employed. So I and my full-time employer cannot contribute more than $30K in total to my retirement plans (401K and SIMPLE), but unfortunately there is little danger of that happening.

jbw
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