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<<My old company let me contribute (1996) a total of $9500 of my own money toward the 401K plan and then matched those dollars. My new company is telling me that I can only contribute (1997) a total of $9500 including match.>>

Generally agreeing with Roy's response, I want to comment on this portion of the original message. Companies have a fair amount of flexibility as to how they structure matching contributions (and are not required to make them at all), but the description of what your new company is doing is very odd. I have seen many 401k plans and never heard of one structured in this way. There's a possibility your question was not properly understood, or the answer was simply mistaken. If I were you, I would check the Summary Plan Description for the plan. This is a document you should have received when you became eligible to participate in the plan. Its purpose is to explain the plan in language that can be understood by participants. If you did not receive it, request a copy from your employer. To be truly certain of your situation, you would need to read the Plan Document, but this is filled with legalese and may be more confusing than enlightening. You have a legal right to receive a copy of both the SPD and the Plan Document. It's possible the plan truly does limit deferrals plus matching contributions to $9,500, but I'd be surprised if that were the case.

KAT in Chicagoland
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