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True, these provisions are written into the plan. HOWEVER, 401(k) type plans are often governed by a committee consisting of upper members of a company (at least that's the way we're set up). In plan documents that I've read for company sponsored financial vehicles, I have often seen a clause/paragraph which gives the governing committee substantial leeway in addressing plan issues with individual employees (probably set up as an escape route for special handling of upper level employee types).

Every company and every plan is different, but the general environment around my company is that there is substantial leeway in the various plans (401(k), stock options, deferred compensation, health benefits, etc.) for getting around the "irritation" factor of waiting for entry. In general, you have to be the right person or get ahold of the right document.

You might ask for a full copy of the plan and flip through it. I have been totally amazed at the difference between the babble put out by our employee services group and the way a plan "really" works. Sometimes, the employee services group has just been flat wrong on several key issues.

Keep in mind that I'm not saying that what you've been told is wrong. I'm just saying that reading the right documents can go a long, long, way.

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