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Darrell wrote as part of an excellent response:

4. Is the maximum tax-free amount i can deposit into my 401k plan, $9500, a universal number or does that depend entirely on the plan i am using?

Yes, $9500 is the legal limit for employee contributions for 1997. (I'm not sure if it has increased for 1998.)

The 401k/403b contribution limit for 1998 is the lesser of 25% of gross compensation or $10K. The dollar limit increases by $500 whenever the cumulative effects of inflation would cause the $10K limit to rise by over $500. My guess is the next increase to $10.5K will not occur until the year 2000.

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