Reason: Your competitors are shortening the length of time that new employees are eligible to participate in the 401(k) plan. More than half (51 percent) of companies now allow 401(k) participation within the first three months of employment, compared with 32 percent in 1998, according to a survey by the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America (www.psca.org). Similarly, short eligibility (three months or less) in profit-sharing plans increased from 12 percent of plans in 1998 to
22 percent of plans today.
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