Are You Meeting ERISA Deadlines?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) sets minimum standards for many private industry pension and health plans. ERISA regulations also set deadlines for the submission of many reports and forms. Since penalties for ERISA compliance violations can be severe, it’s important to know whether your retirement plans are meeting ERISA deadlines.

First, we can look at the types of deadlines that must be met.

A Sample of Compliance Deadlines

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to list all the deadlines faced by plan administrators. However, we can look at some representative ERISA compliance deadlines:

  • First Quarter: Several IRS forms, including W-2 and 1099-R, are due. In addition, plans must distribute excess contributions and earnings by March 15. Also due in the first quarter: Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act Notices, Notice of Eligible Rollover Distribution, and a Notice of Rescission, if applicable.
  • Second Quarter: Documents due this quarter include the Notice of Funding Based Limitation and the Form 1099-R if filed electronically due to an extension.
  • Third Quarter: Forms and reports due in this quarter include Form 5500 or 5558, Form 8955-SSA or 5558, Notice to Terminated Vested Employees, Form 5330, Summary Annual Report for Non-PBGC-Covered plans.
  • Fourth Quarter: Finally, in the fourth quarter, plans may be required to file a Notice of Failure to Meet Minimum Funding Standard, Notice of Right to Defer Distribution and Consequence of Failure to Defer Distribution, and Wellness Program notice of Availability of Reasonable Alternative Disclosure.

Again, this list is not comprehensive. In addition, some deadlines are based on events that occurred only in certain plans.

Why Are ERISA Compliance Deadlines Confusing?

Understanding which deadlines apply to your plan may be one reason for missing important ERISA due dates. Plan administrators face other difficulties, including:

  • The difficulty in tracking the sheer number of deadlines.
  • Dealing with more than one government department may be confusing.
  • ERISA rules and regulations are complicated.

With ERISA penalties on the rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are in complete compliance.

Understanding ERISA Deadlines Is Not Easy

But we can help.

At Hall Benefits Law, we work extensively with employee benefit plans, both before and after plans are established. Please call 678-439-6236 to discuss your concerns with an experienced attorney. Our website contains more information about our firm, a Contact Form, and free resources for your review. From our home office in Georgia, we assist clients throughout the United States, from coast to coast.

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.

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