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I recently sold a rental property and have a surplus of cash sitting around. If possible, I'd like to make a lump sum contribution to my employer's 401(k) plan.

Is that possible? Or would I need to increase my contribution percentage a whole bunch and live off the cash surplus for a while?

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You may have already done so, but also consider other retirement options, such as the various types of IRAs. Depending on the size of your lump sum, these may allow you to contribute the entirety of it with similar tax benefits to, but more investment flexibility than, the 401k – Nicholas Aug 29 '14 at 12:49
up vote 19 down vote accepted

Contributions to 401k plans have to come from the wages that the employer is paying you, and cannot be made from external funds. Many plans will allow for a large percentage to be withheld from a single paycheck or from the remaining paychecks for the current year, and for that time, you can live off the surplus of cash from the sale.

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If you are funding a 529 plan it is possible to make a lump sum contribution of 5x the annual limit that would normally trigger the inheritance rules (5x 14,000) – mhoran_psprep Aug 29 '14 at 10:02

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