December 2013 and January 2014 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

by King & Spalding
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Authors, Eleanor Banister, Atlanta, +1 404 572 4930, ebanister@kslaw.com and Ryan Gorman, Atlanta, +1 404 572 4609, rgorman@kslaw.com.

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties and excise taxes. To avoid such penalties and excise taxes, employers must remain informed with respect to the filing and notice deadlines associated with their plans.

The filing and notice deadline table below provides key filing and notice deadlines common to calendar year plans for the next two months. Please note that the deadlines will be different if your plan year is not the calendar year. Please also note that the table does not include all applicable filing and notice deadlines, just the most common ones. King & Spalding is happy to assist you with any questions you may have regarding compliance with the filing and notice requirements for your employee benefit plans.

Deadline

Item

Action

Affected Plans

December 1 (at least 30 but no more than 90 days before the beginning of the plan year)

Safe Harbor Notice

Deadline for plan administrator to distribute a notice of intent to use a safe harbor formula to participants and beneficiaries. This notice must be provided within a reasonable period of time before the beginning of the plan year. The regulations provide a safe harbor of not less than 30 days but not more than 90 days before the beginning of the plan year.

401(k) and
401(m) Plans

Contingent Safe Harbor Notice

Deadline for plan administrator to distribute a notice to participants and beneficiaries specifying that the plan may be amended during the following plan year to include a 3% employer non-elective safe harbor contribution.

401(k) and 401(m) Plans

Auto-Enrollment Notice

Deadline for plan administrator to provide annual auto-enrollment notice for plans with qualified automatic contribution arrangements (QACA) or eligible automatic contribution arrangements (EACA). This notice must be provided sufficiently early so that the employee has a reasonable period of time after receipt to make QACA or EACA elections. The preamble to the regulations notes that this timing requirement is deemed to be satisfied if the notice is given at least 30 days but not more than 90 days before the beginning of each plan year.

401(k) Plans with QACA or EACA

December 1 (at least 30 days before the end of the plan year)

Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) Annual Notice

Deadline for plan administrator to provide annual QDIA notice to participants or beneficiaries.

 

Defined Contribution Plans with participant-directed investments

Safe Harbor Follow-Up Notice

Deadline for plan administrator to distribute a notice to participants and beneficiaries informing them that the 3% employer non-elective safe harbor contribution will be made for the current plan year. This notice may be combined with the Contingent Safe Harbor Notice for the following plan year.

401(k) and 401(m) Plans

December 1
(at least 30 days prior to the first day of the new plan or policy year)

Summary of Benefits and Coverage for Health Plans that Automatically Renew Coverage

Deadline for group health plan administrator (for self-insured plans) or group health plan administrator or insurer (for fully insured plans) to provide a Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBC) if coverage automatically renews each year.

Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers

December 1 (no later than 30 days before participant becomes eligible to diversify employer stock)

Diversification Notice

Deadline for plan administrator to provide diversification notice to participants who will first be eligible to divest employer securities on January 1.

Defined Contribution Plans with participant-directed investments in employer stock

December 15 (2 months after the extension for filing Form 5500)

Summary Annual Report
(SAR)

Deadline for plan administrator to distribute SAR for prior year to participants and beneficiaries, if the IRS granted a 2-month extension for Form 5500 on or before the original Form 5500 deadline.

 

Defined Contribution Plans

December 31
(last day of plan year following plan year for which contributions were made)

Correction of Excess Contributions & Excess Aggregate Contributions

Deadline for plan administrator to make corrective employer contributions or distribute excess contributions (ADP test failure) and excess aggregate contributions (ACP test failure) for the prior year.

 

401(k) and
401(m) Plans

December 31
(last day of plan year)

Code §436 Benefit Restrictions Amendment

Deadline for plan sponsor to add benefit restriction provisions to plan as required by Code §436. Note that while the benefit restrictions apply to underfunded plans, all affected plans, regardless of funded status, must add the provisions to the plan as provided in Code §436.

Defined Benefit Plans

Discretionary Amendments

Deadline for plan sponsor to adopt discretionary plan amendments.

Qualified Retirement Plans*

Adjusted Funding Target Attainment Percentage (AFTAP) Certification

Deadline for actuary to certify a specific AFTAP if a range certification was previously issued.

 

Defined Benefit Plans

December 31 (at least annually)

ERISA §404(c) Disclosures

Deadline for plan administrator to distribute notices to participants and beneficiaries if the employer wants to limit fiduciary liability for participant-directed investment decisions.

 

Defined Contribution Plans with participant-directed investments

Annual Fee Disclosure to Participants

Deadline for plan administrator to make annual disclosure of certain fees for participant directed individual account plans to be provided to participants and beneficiaries.

Pension Benefit Statements

Deadline for plan administrator of a defined benefit plan using alternative notice for pension benefit statements to notify participants of availability of a pension benefit statement and instructions on how to obtain it.

Defined Benefit Plans

December 31
(at least annually as a part of any yearly informational packet)

WHCRA Notice

Deadline for group health plans to distribute Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) notice for new plan year to all participants and beneficiaries advising them of available mastectomy benefits under WHCRA and any deductibles and co-insurance limits applicable to such benefits.

Health and Welfare Plans

Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA )
Notice

Deadline for employer to notify employees of potential opportunities for premium assistance from the state in which the employee resides.

Group Health Plans in states that provide premium assistance under Medicaid or CHIP

December 31

Required Minimum Distributions

Deadline for plan administrator to distribute current year's required minimum distributions under IRC §401(a)(9).

Qualified Retirement Plans

Correction of 403(b) Plan Document

Deadline for 403(b) plan sponsors to take advantage of 50% fee discount for VCP submission relating to the late adoption of a written plan document. Note that the late adoption of a written plan document must be the only failure identified in the VCP submission in order to receive the discount.

403(b) Plans

January 31

IRS Form 945

Deadline for employer to file IRS Form 945 to report income tax withheld from qualified plan distributions made during the prior plan year. However, the deadline may be extended to February 11 if taxes were timely deposited during the prior plan year.

 

Qualified Retirement Plans

IRS Form 1099-R

Deadline for employer to distribute IRS Form 1099-R to participants and beneficiaries who received a distribution (including a direct rollover) during the prior plan year. This includes a direct rollover from a Qualified Retirement Plan.

 

Qualified Retirement Plans

IRS Form W-2

Deadline for employers to distribute Form W-2, which must reflect aggregate value of employer-provided employee benefits (e.g., imputed income for group-term life insurance, employer Health Savings Account Contributions, etc.).

Health and Welfare Plans

Cycle C Determination Letter Applications

Deadline for employers having Taxpayer Identification Numbers ending in 3 or 8 to apply for an IRS determination letter with respect to their Qualified Retirement Plans.

Qualified Retirement Plans

* Qualified Retirement Plans include all defined benefit and defined contribution plans that are intended to satisfy Code §401(a).

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