This is a variant of How can I communicate my preference to stay where I am now in my career path, and not move "up"?, with a key difference: the original question is about not wanting to move into management:
At several points in my career, I have faced propositions to diverge my career onto project management. I really don't want to ever do anything other than write code, and am not interested in anything that does not involve programming most of the time.
At the company I work at, moving into management is not a promotion: it is a lateral move. Promotions are exclusively within the same area: you can be promoted as an engineer/individual contributor (for designers etc.) to a higher level, or you can move to management and then be promoted as a manager. Therefore, the question, which is titled to be a bit broader than its content, doesn't apply to my situation.
The company that I work at has different "levels" for software engineers. All internal resources and actions by my manager suggest that it's expected that you want to advance through them: you're asked fairly frequently about what's holding you back from attaining the next level, how you'd like to work towards the next level, etc.
But, I don't really want a promotion to a higher level of software engineer. To me, it seems like it would lead to more stress due to the requisite higher expectations at higher levels, and I already make more than enough money (>$200k) for my lifestyle (Dual Income, No Kids and fairly minimalist) at my relatively low level. I'd be fine just getting the minimum typical inflation-matching raise forever.
So, I'd rather just stay where I am: as I improve and become more efficient, I'd rather work fewer hours while getting the amount of things done. By corporate policy, this should be fine, as the company ostensively only cares about the impact that your work had, relative to the expectations for your level. Butt-in-seat time is irrelevant.
The entire company culture seems counter to this, though. How do I bring it up when my manager asks about my plans for moving up?