Conversion Plans FAQs in Onboarding

What is a conversion plan?

A conversion plan refers to Guideline clients that have already set up a 401(k) plan with a different provider and are transferring to a Guideline plan.

Should I include my designated Onboarding Specialist in all communications with my existing provider?

Absolutely! Your Onboarding Specialist should be included in all correspondences with your existing 401(k) provider to ensure a smooth transition.

I don’t have email addresses for dismissed employees. What should I do?

Guideline requires email addresses to help ensure dismissed participants with a money balance in the plan are notified about the transfer. We do not send paper notices, therefore, it’s important that an email address is provided at set up. If an email address cannot be provided, the employer is responsible for sending blackout notices to dismissed participants via certified mail.

Will employees have to initiate an inbound rollover to Guideline?

No, the plan will transfer to Guideline at the plan level. Employees will not need to request an individual rollover from the existing 401(k) provider.

Do employees have to report 401(k) contributions during participant onboarding?

Employees are not required to report contributions they have made with their current 401(k) provider. Guideline will request year-to-date contribution data from employees’ current employer once the transfer is complete for record keeping purposes. If an employee has contributed to a previous employer’s 401(k) plan in the current year, the employees should report the contributions at the time of participant onboarding to have contributions reflected accurately for the plan year. 

Employees should always be aware of their IRS elective deferral limit to ensure they do not over contribute to the plan. Employees that wish to max out their limit are at a higher risk of over contributing to the plan during a plan transition. See 402(g) limit.

When do I contact my existing 401(k) provider?

Once the Guideline 401(k) plan setup is complete, a transfer task will automatically populate on your admin dashboard to move forward with the transfer. The transfer task will provide you with brief instructions regarding next steps. Ensure to mark the transfer task complete, this will let your Onboarding Specialist know you initiated the transfer.

My 401(k) plan is transferring to Guideline at the end of the year, will Guideline complete our profit sharing contribution?

Plans that are transferring to Guideline at the end of the year require more coordination with your Onboarding Specialist. Please contact your designated Onboarding Specialist for assistance.

When is the final 401(k) contribution to my existing 401(k) plan provider?

The final 401(k) contribution to your existing plan provider is the last pay period before your Guideline plan’s effective start date. 

I stopped contributions with my 401(k) provider, what should I do now?

Immediately contact your Onboarding Specialist for assistance.

How long will it take to transfer my retirement plan to Guideline?

Transferring a 401(k) plan can take approximately 75 to 90 days. The completion of the transfer will be dependent on when the transfer begins with your existing provider, in addition to when Guideline receives final reports to record participant assets. Generally, the transfer will be completed before the end of the scheduled blackout date. For specific dates, please reference the transfer timeline your existing provider will send during the transition.

When will the employees be able to access the transferred funds?

Once the funds are deposited to the participant’s new Guideline investment portfolios, they will be able to view the deposit on their participant dashboard under “Recent Transactions”. The transaction will show as pending until the money settles in the investment vehicles.

Should employees contact the Onboarding Specialist?

Employees and prior plan participants should contact our Customer Success Team at

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