In order to max out your annual 401(k) contributions and take full advantage of any employer match offered for the year, you will need to ensure that you are contributing from every paycheck and don’t max out early. If you are attempting to adjust your contribution rate towards the end of the year to meet the annual contribution limit, remember that you may not have enough paychecks to max out entirely.
To calculate the estimated contribution amount needed from each paycheck, simply subtract your current annual contribution total from the annual limit, and divide it by the remaining number of paychecks you will receive for the rest of the year.
You can also log into your Guideline Dashboard and use the contribution calculator to get an estimate of how much you can contribute in each remaining paycheck to max out. Please note that the contribution calculator presents an estimate based on information available in your payroll, and may be different from what you are actually paid from your employer, including from bonus checks.
You can adjust your contribution rate from your Guideline Dashboard; however, if a contribution change is made after your employer has run payroll, your new rate won’t be reflected until the following paycheck. As 401(k) contributions are based off of W-2 wages earned in payroll, we cannot accept contributions made outside of payroll or via personal checks. However, if you have contributions from another plan, you should report such contributions from your Guideline Dashboard, as they may be counted towards your annual limit.
Read here for more information about annual limits.