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Highly-paid individuals

Special anti-discrimination rules can limit retirement plan contributions for highly- paid individuals, defined as anyone making more than $110,000 in 2010 or anyone who is a 5% owner of a company which offers the retirement plan in question. If lower-paid employees do not contribute to a 401(k) plan in sufficient numbers, for example, higher-paid employees can have part of their contributions returned at year-end, meaning it will be treated as taxable compensation.