There are seven absolutely fantastic 401(k) plan design elementsthat represent the perfect gift companies can give to theiremployees. Here they are:

1. Instant eligibility. Employers often putemployees “on probation” when it comes to receiving benefits. Thatmakes sense when there's a significant cost to the company (eitherout-of-pocket or via the accumulation of free-rider employees). Butis it necessary in cases where the employee pays for the cost ofthe benefit? Maybe put a hold on the point when matching kicks in,but let them start saving for retirement from the get-go.

2. Offering a Roth option. Sometimes, theimmediate tax deferral is worth less than the long-term taxdeferral. That's certainly the case for employees in low taxbrackets with decades of compounding returns ahead of them. This isa popular option with millennials.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (