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Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for 401(k) & Other Defined Contribution Plans


Date & Deadline

Deadline Description


January 31

Forms 1099-R Due to Participants

The custodian/directed trustee of the plan delivers Forms 1099-R directly to the participants. Please note, some custodians/directed trustees attach the form to the check at time of distribution. (The deadline to file this form with the IRS is February 28 for paper filings, and March 31 for electronic.)

For more information on Form 1099-R, click here.

January 31

Form 945: Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax

The trustee/custodian prepares this form to file with the IRS, typically using their tax ID as opposed to your plan ID.  The deadline can be extended to February 10th if all taxes were paid timely. 


March 15

ADP/ACP Refunds Due without Excise Tax

ADP/ACP refunds must be issued within 2 ½ months following the end of the plan year in order to avoid the 10% excise tax.

For more information on ADP and ACP testing, click here.


April 1

Initial Required Minimum Distribution Due

Those who are required to take their initial RMD must do so by April 1st of the year following the year to which the RMD relates.  

For more information on required minimum contributions, click here.

April 15

Excess Deferral Refunds Due

Participants that exceed the 402(g) limit (maximum salary deferrals allowed in calendar year) in the prior year must have excess deferrals refunded by this date.  Failure to meet this deadline may result in the participant being double-taxed on the excess amount.

For more information on annual limits, click here.


July 31

Forms 5500 & 8955-SSA Filing Due

The Forms 5500 and 8955-SSA are due 7 months following the close of the plan year.  The plan can extend the deadline by 2 ½ months by filing Form 5558 (Application for Extension of Time) by this date.

For more information on Forms 5500 and 8955-SSAclick here and here.

July 31

Form 5330 Due

This is the filing deadline to report excise taxes for employee benefit plans.

For more information on Form 5330 click here.


September 30

Summary Annual Reports Due

 The Summary Annual Report (SAR) is due two months after the deadline for filing the Form 5500.


October 15

Extended Deadline to File Form 5500

 If Form 5558 was filed by July 31st, the deadline to file Form 5500 is extended by 2 ½ months.

October 15

Corrective Plan Amendment

 Deadline to adopt a retroactive corrective plan amendment, if the plan fails minimum coverage, nondiscrimination, and/or compensation requirements for the prior plan year.

For more information on plan amendments click here and here.


December 1

Safe Harbor/QDIA/Automatic Enrollment Notice


The Safe Harbor, Automatic Contribution Arrangement and QDIA Notices must be distributed to all eligible participants 30 to 90 days prior to the start of the next plan year.

December 15

Summary Annual Report Extended Deadline

The extended deadline to provide the Summary Annual Report.

December 31

Plan Document Deadlines

Certain plan amendments must be executed by the last of the plan year in which they are effective.  Such amendments may include the following:

  • Change of ADP/ACP testing methodology
  • Change of non-elective contribution allocation formula
  • Establishment of new plan

Note that due to the notice deadline described above, amendments to safe harbor plans must generally be prepared in advance of December 1st so that the provisions can be incorporated into the safe harbor notice.

December 31

Ongoing RMD Due

Those who are currently in pay status are required to take their RMD by December 1st.  

December 31

Final Deadline To Correct ADP/ACP Failures

 Test failures must be corrected by the end of the year following the year to which they relate to avoid significant penalties, including the potential loss of the plan’s tax-qualified status.

Want to keep a copy of this compliance calendar on hand? Click the button below for a printable PDF version. Looking for a calendar for Cash Balance and other Defined Benefit deadlines? Click here.

Download the Printable Calendar

Note: Your calendar should download immediately, if it does not or the download is blocked please contact Ali Smith at ali.smith@dwc401k.com

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of any other person or organization. All content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be tax or legal advice.