Fourth Quarter Compliance Calendar for Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

 

 
 

HR Alert
November 2014

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with various reporting and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. In order to avoid costly penalties and excise taxes, employers must remain up-to-date with respect to benefit plan reporting and notice deadlines. The calendar below provides fourth quarter (October - December) key reporting and notice deadlines for calendar year benefit plans (the deadlines are different for a benefit plan with a non-calendar year plan year). Please note that the calendar does not include all applicable reporting and notice deadlines, just some of the common ones. 
 
Deadline Document/Item Description Plan Affected
November 15
 
Transitional Reinsurance
Fee
Deadline for plan administrator of a self-insured group health plan to provide an enrollment count to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to pay fee to fund a temporary transitional reinsurance program to assist with stabilization of insurance premiums in the individual market (2014-2016 only).

Upon receipt of the enrollment count, HHS will calculate the fee owed and send an invoice to the plan administrator. Generally, the reinsurance fee is $5.25 per member per month ($63 annually) for 2014. The fee will decrease in subsequent years (2015 and 2016).
Health and Welfare Plans
November 30 (30-90 days before the beginning of the plan year) Safe Harbor Notice Deadline to provide notice to participants describing their rights and obligations under a Section 401(k) plan, including a description of safe harbor matching or safe harbor nonelective employer contribution formula, how and when to make deferral elections and other required information.

For newly eligible employees, the notice is due not more than 90 days before and no later than the individual’s plan eligibility date.
401(k) and 401(m) Plans
 
December 1 (at least 30 days before the end of the plan year) Qualified Default Investment Alternative Notice (QDIA) Deadline for plan fiduciary to provide annual QDIA notice to participants or beneficiaries.

The QDIA notice should describe the right to direct investments in a broad range of investment alternatives and how accounts will be invested in the absence of participant direction.
Defined Contribution Plans with participant-directed investments
December 31
Corrective Contributions Deadline for employer to make corrective employer contributions for 401(k)/401(m) plans that failed the ADP/ACP test in the prior plan year (if permitted in the plan document). 401(k) and 401(m) Plans
RMD Deadline to distribute current year’s required minimum distributions under Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(9). Qualified Retirement
Plans
Discretionary Amendments Deadline for employer (or sponsor, if applicable) to adopt discretionary plan amendments for calendar-year plans.
Other DOL, IRS and ACA Reporting and Notice Deadlines
DOL
Deadline Document/Item Description Plans Affected
Within a “reasonable” period of time after failure Notice of Failure to Meet Minimum Funding Standard Deadline for employer that failed to make a required payment to meet minimum funding standards to participants, beneficiaries and alternate payees.

A minimum funding failure occurs if required contributions are not made within 60 days of due date.
Qualified Retirement Plans (subject to funding requirements)
IRS
30-180 days before the annuity starting date Notice of Right to Defer Distribution and Consequence of Failure to Defer Distribution Deadline for plan administrator to send notice to participant explaining the right to defer distribution and consequences of failing to defer distribution.

For defined benefit plans, the notice must include a description of how much larger benefits will be if commencement of distributions is deferred. The notice must include, for defined contribution plans, a description of available investment options (including fees).
Qualified Retirement Plans
ACA
Whenever materials (SPDs, enrollment materials) are sent describing the terms of a wellness program Wellness Program Notice of Availability of Reasonable Alternative Disclosure Required disclosure by a group health plan administrator (for self-insured plans) or insurer (for fully insured plans) in all plan materials describing health-contingent wellness programs. The notice must include the availability of a reasonable alternative standard to qualify for the wellness program’s reward.

 
Health and Welfare Plans
 
For purposes of this calendar, “Qualified Retirement Plans” means all defined benefit and defined contribution plans that are intended to satisfy Code Section 401(a).

Hamby Benefits Law, LLC recommends that you consult with ERISA legal counsel to assist you with any questions you may have regarding compliance with the fourth quarter reporting and notice obligations listed above and any other reporting and notice requirements (i.e., COBRA and HIPAA) for your employee benefit plans.

This HR Alert was written by:
 
Anne Tyler Hamby
ERISA Attorney
3525 Piedmont Rd NE
7 Piedmont Center, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30305
(470) 223-3095 (office) Please note new office number
(404) 861-7441 (cell)
athamby@hambybenefitslawllc.com
Specializing in retirement plans, health and welfare benefits, and executive compensation law

This HR Alert is intended to provide a summary of significant developments to clients and friends. It is intended to be informational and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation. This material may also be considered attorney advertising under rules of certain jurisdictions.

 
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