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Am I going to have to pay a penalty tax? IOW, is the $10,500 max per employer or for the year in total?

The limit is $10,500 per person not per employer. There shouldn't be any penalty but the excess would have to be refunded to you or go into the 401k as after tax contributions if the plan allows it. I think most plans do accept after tax money. Of cource the regular income tax needs to be paid and I'm not sure how the overage is discovered and how and which employer has to correct the records.
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