November and December 2016 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

by King & Spalding
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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.  To avoid such penalties, employers should 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. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is generally delayed until the next business day.  Please note that the deadlines will generally be different if your plan year is not the calendar year. Please also note that the table is not a complete list of all applicable filing and notice deadlines (including any available exceptions and/or extensions), 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

November 1 (by the first day of open enrollment)

Summary of Benefits and Coverage for Health Plans that Require Reapplication

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 written application materials are required for renewal.

 

Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers

November 14
(within 45 days after the close of the third quarter)

Benefit Statements for Participant-Directed Plans

Deadline for plan administrator to send benefit statement for the third quarter of the plan year to participants in participant-directed defined contribution plans.

Defined Contribution Plans with participant-directed investments

Quarterly Fee Disclosure

Deadline for plan administrator to disclose fees and administrative expenses deducted from participant accounts during the third quarter of the plan year. Note that the quarterly fee disclosure may be included in the quarterly benefit statement or as a stand-alone document.

November 15
(the 15th day of the 11th month after the end of the plan year)

IRS Forms 990 and 990-EZ

Deadline for tax-exempt trusts associated with qualified retirement plans and voluntary employee beneficiary associations (VEBAs) to file Forms 990 or 990-EZ with the IRS for prior year if the trustee obtained a second 3-month extension by filing a Form 8868.

Qualified Retirement Plans*

Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Associations

November 15

Transitional Reinsurance Report and Second Installment Fee (if applicable)

 

Deadline for sponsors of self-insured health plans (including retiree plans)  to report the number of “covered lives” under the plan. 

If the entity chose to pay the 2015 fee in installments, it must pay the remaining $11.00 for each covered life by this date.

Self-insured Group Health Plans (including retiree 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)

Discretionary Amendments

Deadline for plan sponsor to adopt discretionary plan amendments for calendar-year plans.

 

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

Wellness Program Notice

Effective as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017. No specific deadline is provided. However, the notice must be provided before employees provide any health information for the program and with enough time to decide whether to participate in the program.

Group Health Plans offering wellness programs

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

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

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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