An employee never opted out of the automatic enrollment and is now asking for the money back. What should I do?

All Guideline accounts have an automatic enrollment provision. This is designed so that when your participants become eligible, they will be automatically enrolled in the plan. We do send three email notices ahead of time, letting those participants know they are going to be enrolled with the ability to opt out. If the employee did not opt out in time, we will not be able to refund them their contributions. They can only opt out proactively.

Two exceptions may apply, however. If it was the case that the employee opted out prior to payroll being run, we can work with you on a refund. Your employee may also qualify for an EACA refund, available to plans with an eligible automatic contribution arrangement (“EACA”) provision. If so, they can email our team at to get this process started. Most new Guideline 401(k) plans are EACA plans; however, certain conversion plans that come to Guideline from another provider without EACA already in place will not have an EACA provision for that plan year and so participants will not be eligible for an EACA refund.

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