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QOTW: Plan Entry Dates

Recently a member asked if we had any information on when plans allow participants to enroll in the plan, separate from service requirements – if participants are allowed to enroll as soon as they are eligible (next pay period) or if (administratively) there are set plan entry dates. We used to include this question in our annual survey of 401(k) plans, the last time was for the 2015 plan year. Then, 73 percent of plans allowed entry any time after the employee became eligible.

From the 59th Annual Survey (2015 plan year)

To see if this has changed at all, we asked members in last week’s QOTW about their plan entry dates and … seventy percent allow enrollment as soon as eligible, with thirty percent restricting entry to the plan at specific times per year.  The most common plan entry date when there is one is still once a month but a handful of plans limit entry to quarterly, twice a year (Jan 1 and Jul 1), or annually.