There are important dates each year that 401(k) plan managers can prepare for in advance. These key dates vary in how much action is needed—some may be as simple as signing and filing a form while some are deadlines by which your business is required to fund contributions made to your employees, undergo compliance testing, and distribute notices to your employees. Check out this year’s 401(k) compliance calendar.

DATE(S) RESPONSIBLE PARTY DESCRIPTIONS
Jan 15 Recordkeeper Census data: Plan sponsor provides/confirms accurate prior year census data to the recordkeeper who will use the information to complete compliance testing
Jan 31 Recordkeeper Form 1099-R: Deadline to dispense Form 1099-R to participants who received a distribution from the plan in the previous plan year (recordkeeper typically sends the form)
Mar 15 Recordkeeper ADP/ACP corrective distributions: Deadline to process corrective distributions for plans that failed the Actual Deferral Percentage (ADP) or Actual Contribution Percentage (ACP) compliance tests in the previous plan year to avoid a 10% excise tax
Mar 15 Plan Sponsor Fund employer contributions: Deadline for filing partnership tax returns for partnerships and for partnerships to fund any employer contributions to the plan and receive a tax deduction for the prior year (unless filing an extension)
Apr 2 Recordkeeper File Electronic Form 1099-R: Deadline to electronically file 1099-R with the IRS if 1099-Rs were distributed to participants that received a distribution from the plan in the previous plan year
Apr 2 Recordkeeper Plan sponsor provides a completed 5500 questionnaire to service provider; the service provider prepares the plan Form 5500
Apr 16 Plan Sponsor instructs Recordkeeper Excess contribution refunds: Deadline to refund excess distributions for participants (if any) that contributed more than the 402(g) limits in the previous plan year
Apr 16 Plan Sponsor Fund employer contributions (for corporations): Deadline for filing individual and/or corporate tax returns to fund employer contributions to the plan and receive a tax deduction for the prior year (unless filing an extension)
Jul 31 Plan Sponsor File IRS Form 5500: Deadline to electronically sign IRS Form 5500 (unless requesting an extension) that is typically provided by Third Party Administrator (TPA) or Recordkeeper
Jul 31 Plan Sponsor File IRS Form 5558: File Form 5558 to request an extension on filing the IRS Form 5500. TPA or Recordkeeper can provide a signature ready form
Aug 15 Plan Sponsor Mid-year Testing: If the plan previously failed compliance testing, this is a good time to consider mid-year compliance testing
Sep 17 Plan Sponsor Fund employer contributions: Deadline to for filing partnerships tax returns (if an extension was filed) and is also the deadline for partnerships to fund any employer contributions to the plan and receive a tax deduction for the previous plan year
Oct 1 Plan Sponsor Distribute Summary Annual Report: Deadline for plans who filed Form 5500 by July 31 to distribute the Summary Annual Report to all plan participants and beneficiaries receiving benefits
Oct 1 Plan Sponsor Review your plan document: Every fall review the plan document to make sure that plan management is in compliance with the plan document; amendments to the plan can be made in the fall to be effective in the new year and can be requested from the service provider
Oct 15 Plan Sponsor File Form 5500 (if extension is filed via IRS Form 5558): Deadline to electronically sign IRS Form 5500. The TPA or Recordkeeper may provide a signature ready form
Nov 1 Plan Sponsor Distribute annual participant notices: Notice distributions include: Safe Harbor, ADIA (Qualified Default Investment Alternative), and Automatic Contribution Arrangements (if applicable). These notices can be combined for administrative ease and many service providers can assist plan sponsors with creation and distribution of these notices
Dec 31 Plan Sponsor ADP/ACP corrective distributions: Deadline to distribute ADP/ACP refunds (if applicable) for the prior year; a 10% excise tax may apply
Dec 31 Plan Sponsor Fund Qualified Non-Elective Contributions (QNEC): Deadline to make corrections for the plans that failed ADP/ACP compliance testing for the prior plan year using to fund QNEC
Ongoing Plan Sponsor Plan Sponsor’s responsibility to make sure the plan is operated in accordance with the plan document
Ongoing Plan Sponsor For each pay period, any amounts withheld as salary deferrals by participants must be deposited by the plan sponsor no later than 7 business days following the day they are withheld
Ongoing Plan Sponsor Plan sponsor provides the summary plan description to all newly eligible participants within 90 days of their coverage under the plan
Ongoing Recordkeeper Recordkeeper provides quarterly benefit statements to plan participants
Ongoing Recordkeeper Recordkeeper will annually distribute participant fee disclosure 404(a) to all participants

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