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It does sound a bit harsh, but there is a reason to it. Yes, IRS rules state the max is $10,500 in 2000, but you are still limited by what the plan's limitations are (in your case 15%). Corporations, which sponsor 401k plans, are limited by law a maximum corporate deduction of 15%. Therefore, most (but not all) corporate sponsored plans limit the employee's contributions to a maximum of 15% of compensation. If the plan's employee contribution limitation is 15%, then you are maxed out on what you can put away.

I think it's great you're able to put away the whole 15%. Most younger folks don't max out their 401k. Older and wiser people know the benefits of putting away as much as possible.
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