Depending on the plan’s definition of eligibility requirements, you may be required to satisfy a pre-defined number of hours of service over a set period of time and also may be required to have reached a minimum age before becoming eligible for plan participation. If the plan defines eligibility service as one year, you can not be asked to complete more than 1,000 hours to be credited with one year of service. However, you must generally be employed for 12 consecutive months during which you have completed at least 1,000 hours if one year of eligibility service is required.
If the plan defines its eligibility service requirement as less than one year, no requisite number of hours may be required to be credited with such service. For example, if the plan defines eligibility service as 6 months of service and you have been employed by the employer for 6 months, you may be eligible to join the plan as long as you have satisfied any age requirement that may apply, regardless of the number of hours that have been performed during the 6 month period.