Eligibility, Enrollment & Participant Data Changes

Participant Decisions

Participants have decisions to make in four key areas:

  • For plans with a 401(k) feature, do they want to contribute to the plan? If they do, how much do they want to contribute? (More information on contribution amounts is available in “Submitting Contributions and Loan Repayments” under Contributions.
  • For participants in a 401(k) plan, do they want to make pre-tax or Roth 401(k) contributions?
  • For participants in a 401(k) plan, profit sharing plan or money purchase pension plan, do they want to make voluntary after-tax contributions if this option is available?
  • How do they want to invest employee (if applicable) and/or employer contributions among the investment options offered by the Program?
  • Who should they name as beneficiary or beneficiaries?

Participants can make all these decisions by enrolling and naming their beneficiary(ies). Your firm may also have forms that participants can use to establish or change their 401(k) deferral elections.
Once the participant is enrolled, the Advisory Services, powered by Financial EnginesTM, the personalized investment advice service, can help participants decide contribution levels and make investment decisions that will help them achieve their retirement goals. (More information on the Advisory Services can be found in Forms, Tools and Resources.)

Complete the Online Enrollment Process

The participant must visit the Begin Your Enrollment page on the Program’s website. Then he or she will type in your six-digit Program plan number to locate your plan in the Program’s database and go through the enrollment process.  This will also allow the participant to select his/her investment elections for contributions and name one or more beneficiaries.  It is critical that the new participant provide you with a copy of the confirmation page showing how much he/she wants to contribute (401(k) plans only) and the beneficiary(ies) named for the plan so that you can establish payroll deductions if applicable and so that you will have a copy of the beneficiary designation on file.

When selecting investment elections, participants will be given a choice of either the “typical approach” where they only need to make one election that will apply to all contribution types (employer and employee) or the “advanced approach” where they can choose different investments for employer contributions than employee contributions.  

Definitions of Contributions

  • Employer contributions are made on an employee’s behalf by the firm. This includes profit sharing and pension plan contributions, as well as employer matching, qualified matching (QMAC), qualified non-elective (QNEC), 401(k) safe harbor matching, 401(k) safe harbor non-elective and rollover contributions.
  • Employee contributions are made by the employee to the plan, such as 401(k) elective salary deferral, Roth 401(k) elective salary deferral and voluntary after-tax contributions.

Online Enrollment through Payroll/Administration

If you have established Payroll/Administration through Sponsor Web – the online administrative tool – and enroll participants online, you will need to have the participant complete a Change of Investment Election form instead of an Enrollment Form, as the participant’s initial investment elections will automatically be your plan’s default investment option. However, you should still provide the participant with an Enrollment Package for New Participant