Compliance Deadlines for Calendar Year Plans

01/31 Forms 1099-R to the Participants

The custodian/directed trustee of the plan generally delivers the 1099-Rs directly to the participants. Note that some custodians deliver the 1099-R along with the distribution check, either attached to it or as a separate enclosure. Please contact your recordkeeper if you have any questions.

01/31 Form 945: Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax to the IRS

The custodian/directed trustee for the plan generally prepares this form and files with the IRS on the plan's behalf. Note that the deadline can be extended to February 10 if all taxes were paid timely.

02/28 Forms 1096 and 1099-R to the IRS

The custodian/directed trustee of the plan generally prepares and files these forms.

03/15 ADP/ACP Refunds to Avoid Excise Tax

The ADP/ACP refund must be postmarked by March 15 in order to avoid the 10% excise tax.

For non-calendar-year plans, the due date is two-and-a-half months following the close of the plan year. 

03/31 Electronic Filing of Forms 1099-R

The custodian/directed trustee performs this task in association with the recordkeeper.

04/01 RMD for Participants Attaining Age 70 1/2 During The Preceding Calendar Year

Initial Required Minimum Distribution is due by April 1 of the year following the year in which the participant first attains age 70 1/2. Non-owners who continue working may defer this initial RMD until April 1 of the year after they actually retire.

04/15 Corrective Distribution of Excess Deferrals

Participants who exceed the maximum 401(k) deferral limit must receive corrective refunds no later than April 15 of the following year in order to avoid double-taxation on the exess amount.

07/31 Form 5500 Filing

The Form 5500 must be electronically filed with the Department of Labor via the EFAST2 system no later than July 31 of the following year. The deadline can be extended to October 15 by filing Form 5558 by the July 31 deadline.

For non-calendar-year plans, the deadline is seven months following the last day of the plan year.

09/30 Adoption of New Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan for the Current Year

A company that does not have a retirement plan or that has a profit sharing plan can establish a safe harbor 401(k) plan for the current year as long as it is in place and all plan documents/amendments signed no later than September 30. Deferrals must be witheld from the first payroll in October. In addition, the plan sponsor must provide the required safe harbor notice to all participants within 30-90 days before the effective date (July 1 - September 1).

For non-calendar-year plans, the safe harbor provision must be in effect for at least the last three months of the plan year. 

09/30 Summary Annual Report to Participants

The SAR must be provdied to all participants no later than September 30 of the following year; however, if the Form 5500 filing deadline is properly extended, the deadline for distributing the SAR is extended to December 15.

For non-calendar-year plans, the deadline is two months following the deadline for filing Form 5500.

10/15 Extended Form 5500 Filing

The extended deadline for filing Form 5500 is October 15 for plans that filed Form 5558 by the intial July 31 deeadline. This deadline cannot be further extended.

For non-calendar-year plans, the deadline is 9 1/2 months following the last day of the plan year.

12/01 Safe Harbor, Qualified Default Investment Alterntative and Automatic Enrollment Notices to Participants

The deadline for dsitirbution the safe harbor, QDIA and/or automatic enrollment notices to participants for the next plan year is December 1st.

For non-calendar-year plans, the deadline is 30 - 90 days before the start of the upcoming plan year.

12/15 Extended Summary Annual Report to Participants

The extended deadline for provding the SAR to participants is December 15 for plans that filed Form 5558 by the initial July 31 deadline.

For non-calendar-year plans, the deadline is 11 1/2 months following the close of the year or two months following the extended deadline for filing Form 5500.

12/31 RMD for Participants Already in Pay Status

Participants who have already begun receiving required minimum distributions must receive their RMDs by Decemebr 31 each year. Note that due to heavy volume at year-end, many recordkeepers require advance notice of 7 - 14 days to ensure processing of RMDs by the end of the year.

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