What Is Eligibility?

Depending on your company's specific 401k plan, there are certain qualifications that an employee must meet in order to be eligible to participate in the plan.
When all eligibility requirements are met an employee can start contributing funds into their 401k fund.

Examples of eligibility

A plan can include different eligibility parameters that can apply to full-time and part-time employees, some examples include:

  • Age Requirements: Although an age requirement isn’t necessary, any plan that has one can’t exclude anyone older than 21 years of age, unless they fall under the excluded employees criteria. 
  • Time Employed: An employer can set a condition of minimum time employed as a requirement, generally for 401k this must not exceed 1 year of service.
  • Entry Date: Employers can decide when employees can join the plan, it could be immediately after hire or this can be delayed.
  • Contribution Type: Different types of contributions can have different eligibility requirements. For example, elective deferrals may have immediate eligibility, while the company match may require one year of service.

Where Can I Find My Plan Eligibility Details?

The details for plan eligibility can be found in your Vestwell portal. Navigate to the documents tab, click on ‘Plan’ and click on either the 'Summary Plan Description' or ‘Plan Highlights’ and download the PDF file. The 'Plan Highlights' document provides a comprehensive summary of the plan features. The 'Summary Plan Description' is a detailed guide on the benefits the plan provides and how it works. 


Excluded Employees

Depending on the plan, there are several situations where employees can be excluded from participating in the 401k plan, some examples of excluded employees are:

  • Employees excluded based on job location
  • Employees excluded based on job description or job title (part-time or seasonal employees)
  • Employees who are members of a union
  • Some non-resident aliens

To learn more about excluded employees please review your 'Summary Plan Description' or your 'Plan highlights' documents. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to help@vestwell.com.