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Even if they do make you wait one year, you still may be able to front load your deferrals when you become eligible.

Assume you are hired 2/1/02, the plan makes your wait a year and then lets you enter on first of the next quarter. So on 4/1/03, you start deferring, plenty of time to defer the max.

But what about 2002? Many plans have raised the deferral percentage limit to 100%, so starting 1/1/02, defer the largest percent of yout pay you can stand.

Not a perfect solution, but if you take advantage of the dates of both plans, a one year wait can become meaningless.
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