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 third quarter (July-September) 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.
(No later than 210 days after the end of the plan year in which the change was effective)
|Summary of Material Modifications (SMM)
||Deadline for plan administrator to distribute summary of material modifications reflecting any changes to the plan summary description arising from any plan amendments adopted during prior year.
The SMM should be sent to new participants within 90 days of becoming a participant.
(Within seven months after the close of the plan year)
||Deadline for plan administrator to file Form 5500 for prior year. This deadline is extended to September 15th if plan sponsor’s corporate tax return is extended, and is extended to October 15th if plan sponsor files Form 5558 for extension.
Generally required for all ERISA plans with 100 or more participants.
Health and Welfare Plans
|July 31 of calendar year immediately following last day of plan year to which fee applies
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee
|Deadline for plan administrator (for self-insured plans) or insurer (for fully insured plans) to file Form 720 to pay PCORI fee based on the number of lives (i.e., employees, spouses and dependents) that are covered by the plan.
The fee is $1 per covered life for plan years ending before October 1, 2013 and $2 per covered life thereafter.
|Health and Welfare Plans
(including major medical plans, prescription drug plans, and retiree-only plans)
||Annual Comparative Chart of Investment Alternatives
||Deadline for plan administrator to provide annual disclosure of certain fees for participant directed individual account plans.
Plans had to provide the first detailed investment-related information to plan participants and beneficiaries no later than August 30, 2012 (for calendar year plans). Under the DOL rules, an updated comparative chart must be provided at least annually.*
|Defined Contribution Plans that allow participants to direct investments
(Nine months after the plan year ends)
|Summary Annual Report (SAR)
||Deadline for sending participants and beneficiaries a narrative summary of financial information reported on Form 5500 and statement of right to receive the annual report.
Where an extension of time for filing the Form 5500 has been granted, the deadline is two months after the Form 5500 is due.
|Defined Contribution Plans
|Other DOL, IRS, ACA Reporting and Notice Deadlines
|Prior to participant’s self-direction of investments
||Section 404(c) Disclosure
||Deadline for plan administrator to provide participants and beneficiaries a 404(c) notice for plans that want to limit fiduciary liability for participant and beneficiary investment decisions.
||Defined Contribution Plans that allow participants to direct investments
|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
|Affordable Care Act (ACA)
|Notice must be provided with summary plan description (SPD) or other description of benefits
||Disclosure of Patient Protections: Choice of Providers
||For a non-grandfathered health plan that requires designation of a primary care provider (PCP), the deadline for a plan administrator (for self-insured plans) or insurer (for fully insured plans) to provide notice of the right to choose a PCP, pediatrician or network provider specializing in obstetrical or gynecological care.
||Health and Welfare Plans
* In Field Assistance Bulletin 2013-02, the DOL announced that it would allow a plan administrator to distribute the 2013 comparative chart within 18 months of when it distributed the original comparative chart.
The 2013 comparative chart
means the comparative chart that is due after the first comparative chart was furnished in August 2012. For example, if a plan administrator furnished the first comparative chart on August 25, 2012, the comparative chart would have originally been due on August 25, 2013. However, the DOL stated that it would take no enforcement action if the plan administrator furnished the 2013 comparative chart by February 25, 2014 (18 months from August 25, 2012).
Hamby Benefits Law, LLC recommends that you consult with employee benefits legal counsel to assist you with any questions you may have regarding compliance with the third 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
Employee Benefits Attorney
3525 Piedmont Rd NE
7 Piedmont Center, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30305
(470) 223-3095 (office) Please note new office number
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.