HR Minute

Upcoming Employee Benefit Plan December Deadlines

This client alert follows up on our prior alert titled, "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines for calendar year plans for December 2016.

December 1 (at least 30 days prior to the first day of the plan year) – Deadline for the plan administrator of a group health plan or the insurer of a group health plan, whichever is applicable, to provide a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) to participants and beneficiaries when coverage renews.

December 1 (at least 30 days before the beginning of the plan year) – Deadline for a 401k plan administrator to provide the "safe-harbor" notice to participants of its intent to use a safe-harbor formula under its 401k plan plus a description of the safe-harbor matching or safe-harbor nonelective employer contribution formula.

December 1 (at least 30 days before the beginning of the plan year) – Deadline for a 401k plan administrator that has a qualified automatic contribution arrangement to provide a "QACA" notice to participants describing the automatic contributions that will be made on behalf of a participant unless otherwise elected by the participant.

December 1 (at least 30 days before the beginning of the plan year) – Deadline for a 401k plan administrator to provide each participant and each employee eligible to participate for 2017 with an "EACA" notice if the plan has an eligible automatic contribution arrangement.

December 1 (at least 30 days before the end of the plan year) – Deadline for a defined contribution plan administrator to provide participants and beneficiaries a "QDIA" notice describing their right to direct the investments of accounts under investment alternatives under the plan and how such accounts will be invested in the default investment fund under the plan absent of a direction from the participant or beneficiary.

December 1 (at least 30 days before the beginning of the plan year) – Deadline for a defined contribution plan administrator to provide a diversification notice to participants who are eligible to divest employer securities in their accounts on January 1.

December 1 – The suggested deadline for plan administrators with EINs ending in "6" or "1" that have individualized qualified retirement plans to begin work on their IRS On-Cycle A filings for a favorable determination letter. Note this is expected to be the last Cycle A filing available.

December 15 – Deadline for a defined contribution plan administrator who had an extension to file its Form 5500 to distribute the summary annual report to participants and beneficiaries with respect to such Form 5500.

December 31 – Deadline for a 401k plan administrator to distribute 2015 excess contributions and excess aggregate contributions (both adjusted for income and losses) for failed ADP/ACP tests or to make corrective contributions in order to pass such tests.

December 31 – Deadline for an employer to provide a Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act or "CHIPRA" notice to employees under group health plans in states that provide premium assistance under Medicaid or CHIP.

December 31 – Deadline for a group health plan to provide Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act or "WHCRA" notice regarding mastectomy benefits. 

December 31 – Deadline for the plan administrator for a qualified retirement plan to distribute 2016 required minimum distributions (note: the first RMD for a participant who turned 70-1/2 in 2016 or for a participant other than a five percent owner who retired in 2015 can be delayed until April 1, 2017).

December 31 – Deadline for the plan administrator of a single-employer defined benefit plan to revoke a previous election to use a funding balance to offset minimum required contributions for 2016 plan year, to the extent the election exceeded the full minimum required contribution for the year.   

December 31 – Deadline for the plan administrator to adopt any discretionary amendments to qualified retirement plans for 2016.

December 31 – Deadline for an actuary to certify AFTAP under certain circumstances for a defined benefit pension plan.

December 31 – At least annually, plan administrators of defined contribution plans must provide 404(c) disclosures to participants to attempt to limit their fiduciary liability regarding participant-directed investments, as well as disclosures regarding fees for such accounts.

December 31 – At least annually, plan administrators of defined benefit plans must provide participant statements. 

Other

(a) Beginning with the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017, group health plans offering wellness programs must provide a wellness program notice to employees before employees provide any health information for the program prior to enrolling in such program. 

(b) Please note that there are other deadlines which apply to the distribution of documents and notices to employees upon their employment or their termination of employment which are not addressed in this alert. 

(c) As noted above, if any discretionary amendments to change provisions in qualified retirement plans are anticipated, such amendments should be on the drawing board now and must be signed by December 31. 

(d) Also noted above, the upcoming deadline for an IRS filing for a favorable determination letter for an individualized qualified retirement plan in Cycle A (EINs ending in "1" or "6") is January 31, 2017, and work on such filings should be started soon. 

(e) Note that new qualified retirement plans that have not been submitted to the IRS for a favorable determination letter may submit for such a letter beginning January 1, 2017. 

If you have any questions regarding the deadlines listed in this alert or any other compliance deadlines, please contact Donald S. Kohla at 678.336.7140 or Jan G. Marsh at 678.336.7135.

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