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Some companies may have limits on how much their higher paid employees can contribute because their lower paid employees don't participate enough. This is part of the 401K rules and not something the company decides. As I recall the cutoff point for this is somewhere around $95K per year.

From the IRS 401(k) Resource Guide [1]:
Under the plan, contributions or benefits must not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. Generally, employees with compensation of $100,000 or more from the employer in the prior year are considered highly compensated for 2006 and 2007.

So for the 2007 Plan year, they'll look at your 2006 income from that employer; if it's over $100K, you're a Highly Compensated Employee [HCE].

If HCE's contribute a significantly greater portion of their income than the rank-and-file do [2], the Plan has to refund some of the HCEs' contributions (along with any associated earnings), or risk losing its tax-preferred status. Unless you personally work in Human Resources, you probably won't know how much is too much; it depends on what each employee in the company chooses to defer. The calculation and refunds are done after year-end. The only thing you can really do is defer as much as you want (within the aforementioned legal limits, of course), and if they send you a refund, just roll with it.

As with any tax matter, your mileage may vary, consult your tax advisor for help with your specific situation.

[2] The general rule is that the average percentage of pay deferred by HCE's cannot be more than 2% higher than the average percentage deferred by non-HCE's. In other words, if the average worker bee contributes 4% of her pay, HCE's can contribute no more than 6% of their pay. But again, you won't know this number until after the Plan year has ended.
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