What does a typical timeline look like for a company converting their 401(k) to Guideline from a different 401 (k) provider?

The plan conversion timeline below is provided for illustrative purposes only. Your finalized conversion timeline will be provided to you once you’ve completed Guideline plan setup.

Day 1 - Set up your Guideline account

You’ll be invited to claim your Guideline account once we’ve completed your plan review. Once you’ve claimed the account, you’ll need to complete the online setup process:

  1. Sign service agreement, plan document, and (if necessary) get board approval and sign board resolution
  2. Connect and verify bank account 
  3. Connect payroll

Additionally, you’ll need to upload documents to your Guideline account for review:

  1. Most up-to-date participant loan program, any agreement or related documents (if applicable)
  2. Employee 401(k) participant census (with dismissed employees clearly marked)
  3. Prior year Form 5500
  4. Compliance test results from previous two years (not applicable if plan is Safe Harbor)
  5. Payroll roster census (if non-integrated)

Day 2 - Initiate plan transfer with previous 401(k) provider

Guideline will provide you with exact instructions and a finalized timeline once you’ve completed Guideline setup. Do not initiate transfer prior to completion of the Guideline plan setup.

Day 15 - Employees invited to participate in Guideline 401(k) plan

Guideline will provide employees with a 30-day notice for open enrollment prior to the Guideline plan start date.

Day 44 - Final contributions to previous 401(k) provider 

You must continue making payroll contributions to your previous provider until the Guideline plan begins. Failure to do so could result in missed contributions. Guideline charges a Services Fee to correct missed or delayed contributions. The employer may also incur taxes or penalties for missed contributions.

Day 45 - Guideline 401(k) plan begins

First contributions to your Guideline 401(k) plan will be the first payday after the plan start date.

Day 75 - Assets transfer from previous provider

Approximately 30-45 days after your Guideline plan has begun, your previous provider will liquidate plan assets and wire cash over to your Guideline plan. Please be sure to complete all required processes before your funds are liquidated and wired. This will ensure that your plan’s cash can be allocated into the investment portfolio each participant has selected for their Guideline account. A Pre-Guideline Plan Activity questionnaire will need to be completed after assets have been allocated.

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