Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines for October and November

October 10, 2016

This alert follows up on our August 4, 2016, alert titled, “Upcoming Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines.” The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines for calendar year plans for October and November.

October 14 – Deadline for plan sponsors with health and welfare plans that have prescription drug coverage for individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D to provide a written notice to such individuals and their dependents covered under the plan advising them whether their prescription drug coverage is creditable coverage.

October 14 – Deadline for a plan sponsor to make its third quarter contribution to its defined benefit pension plan for 2016. Note certain other actions are needed, plus forms need to be filed with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) if this payment is missed.

October 15 – Deadline for a plan sponsor to adopt retroactive amendments to correct any failed nondiscrimination and coverage test requirements for the 2015 plan year under qualified retirement plans.

October 17 – Deadline for a plan sponsor to file its 2015 Form 5500 for qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans and 2015 Form 8955-SSA for qualified retirement plans if a two and one-half month extension was granted for original deadline.

October 17 – Deadline for a plan sponsor to provide separated participants with deferred vested benefits who are listed on the 2015 Form 8955-SSA with information about their deferred vested benefits. 

October 17 – Deadline for a plan sponsor with a defined benefit pension plan to submit PBGC form used to file flat-rate premium payments and variable-rate premium payments with the PBGC.

November 14 – Deadline for a plan sponsor to distribute benefit statements for the second quarter to participants who have participant-directed accounts in a defined contribution plan.

November 14 – Deadline for a plan sponsor for disclosing plan fees and expenses deducted from individual participant accounts in a defined contribution plan that has participant-directed accounts. Note that this can be done in the benefit statement described in the preceding deadline or as a standalone document.

November 15 – Extended deadline for tax-exempt trusts to file a Form 990 or Form 990-EZ in connection with qualified retirement plans and voluntary employees beneficiary association plans (VEBAs), if the trust obtained a second 90-day extension to file such form.

November 15 – Deadline for a plan sponsor of a self-insured group health plan to submit enrollment counts and to submit any remaining transitional reinsurance fees for 2015 to www.pay.gov.

Please be aware of additional upcoming deadlines:

  • Plan sponsors who have a 401k safe harbor plan will need to issue a notice of intent to use a 401k safe harbor formula to participants and to all eligible to participate under the safe harbor formula no less than 30 days prior to the beginning of the 2017 plan year.
  • Plan sponsors who have a 401k qualified automatic contribution arrangement and an eligible automatic contribution arrangement will need to issue a notice describing rights and obligations participants and all eligible to participate have under such arrangements. 
  • Plan sponsors with EINs ending in "1" or "6" with individually designed qualified retirement plans should take advantage of their last Cycle A filing for a favorable determination letter by January 31, 2017. These plan sponsors will want to begin the restatement of their plans and complete the related IRS forms soon.
  • Plan sponsors who have adopted new qualified plans (but who have not yet been able to file the plan with the IRS for a favorable determination letter) can do so beginning January 1, 2017. These plan sponsors will want to begin preparing the IRS filing packages soon.
  • With respect to upcoming health plan open enrollments, plan sponsors of health plans must provide a summary of benefit and coverage (SBC) to participants with the enrollment materials or, if the plan sponsors do not have an open enrollment, 30 days prior to the beginning of the plan year.
  • Any discretionary amendments to qualified plans for calendar plan year 2016 must be adopted and signed by December 31, 2016. Plan sponsors who want to make any such amendments should have them on the drawing board soon.

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. 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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