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Chapter 2. The Rules: Understanding Your... > Common Features of 401(k) Plans - Pg. 16

The Rules: Understanding Your 401(k) 16 Our Advice Too young or too new to participate? Read this! January 1, 1999, was an important date for 401(k) plans that have a restriction of age 21 or one year of service. After December 31, 1998, companies can let you into the 401(k) and not affect their discrimination tests. Bring this new law to your employer's attention. Maybe he'll change the rules for you. 401(k) plans are almost always made available to full-time salaried and full-time hourly workers. Union workers can have a 401(k), but usually they get it only when it's negotiated in their agreement with management. Part-time workers who work fewer than 1,000 hours per year have about a 50 percent probability of getting a 401(k). A trend you're likely to see at your employer is automatic enrollment. This plan feature requires employees to do what they should be doing, participating in their 401(k), at least at a nominal amount. So, if you don't un-enroll, you're forced to take the company match. Tough stuff! Terms to Know