The 1986 Tax Reform Act introduced the General Nondiscrimination
rules which applied to qualified pension plans and 403(b) plans that for private sector employers. It did not allow such pension plans to discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees
. A highly compensated employee for the purposes of testing a plan's compliance for the 2006 plan year is any employee whose compensation exceeded $95,000 in the 2005 plan year. Therefore, all new hires are by definition nonhighly compensated employees.
A plan could not give benefits or contributions on a more favorable basis for the highlys if it cannot pass the minimum coverage test and the minimum participation test.