A plan sponsor’s guide to employee enrollment

Answers to FAQs regarding employee onboarding, enrollment, and more.

Updated over a week ago

If you’ve recently set up a new 401(k) plan with Guideline or you have employees who are ready to enroll, we make it easy for participants to get started.

Here are common questions about employee enrollment and onboarding.

How do my employees enroll?

Eligible employees will receive an email invitation with the subject “[ACTION REQUIRED] Set up your {company name} 401(k).” From the email, employees can use the designated link to create their Guideline account and set up their 401(k) preferences. Any employees who do not wish to participate in the plan can also opt out by following the link within the email.

​All Guideline plans include an automatic enrollment provision. This means any employees who do not manually enroll or opt out before the deadline shared in the email will be automatically enrolled at the company’s default deferral rate.

How soon will employees receive an enrollment email from Guideline?

For new plans, employees will be sent an invitation email at least 30 days before your Guideline plan start date as long as they meet your plan's eligibility requirements on or before the start date.

For on-going plans, employees will receive their enrollment invitation within 24 hours of their eligibility date. These employees will be given approximately 10 days to take action to either self-enroll or opt out of the plan (the 30-day period only applies before a plan is active). If new employees are eligible immediately, their hire date will be their eligibility date.

The auto-enrollment date will be clearly listed in each employee’s invite email. If an employee makes a deferral election on their account other than 0%, 401(k) contributions may start before that automatic enrollment date (depending on your payroll schedule).

How do I confirm that employees received enrollment emails from Guideline?

To confirm whether employees received enrollment emails, log into your Guideline administrator dashboard and access the Roster tab.

Under the “Description” field, you can see the date employees will be sent or have received their enrollment emails. You can also see if employees opened their invite email or took any action to enroll or opt out.

Can I resend an enrollment invitation to an employee?

To resend an invitation, log into your Guideline dashboard and access the Roster tab. From this screen, there are two ways to resend invites:

  • In bulk: Click on the “Resend Invitations” button that appears above the roster list.

  • To a specific employee: Find the employee’s name in your roster, then click “MANAGE” within the “Description” column of their row. From there, press the “Send Invitation” button.

If an employee has already claimed their account, an invitation cannot be resent. In this case, they should be able to log in or request to reset their password if they are having trouble accessing their account.

Why are my employees not receiving the enrollment emails?

If an individual reports that they did not get their invitation, please confirm they meet your plan’s eligibility requirements for age and length of service. You can see if an employee is ineligible within the Roster tab of your administrator dashboard as well as the date they will become eligible.

If the roster confirms invitations have been sent but your employees have not received them, please verify that the correct email address is entered for the employee. If the email address is correct, please ask employees to check their spam folder. Otherwise, you may need to reach out to your company’s IT department to have them add guideline.com as a safe sender.

What is the employee onboarding experience?

The invitation email lets your employees know it’s time to set up their 401(k) accounts and shares essential plan information, including the auto-enrollment deadline, employer matching rate (if applicable), and where to find important plan documents.

Within the invitation, employees can also find links to our new participant webinar recording and Help Center.

Upon clicking the enrollment link in the invitation email, employees will be guided through a simple onboarding process, enabling them to set up everything from portfolio choices to contribution rates and more.

Alternatively, if preferred, employees can select the “I do not wish to participate” link within the email. They must then create their account and affirmatively opt out of enrollment in their participant dashboards.

An employee who wants to opt out of contributing to the plan must still create an account, as they will still be considered a participant in the plan. By setting up their accounts, they can pick their investment options for any possible contributions that are not made by the employees themselves (e.g., employer profit sharing or nonelective contributions), and it makes it easier for them to access plan information in the future.

Because all of our plans include some form of an automatic enrollment provision, employees who do not take any action will be automatically enrolled at the plan’s default deferral rate, which will be pulled starting on the first pay date after the specified auto-enrollment. Their assets will be invested into one of Guideline’s professionally managed portfolios based on their age and estimated timeline until retirement.

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