The EJReynolds Compliance Guide

The EJReynolds Compliance Guide
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As a Fiduciary, proper documentation is a key component to a smooth and successful retirement plan. The list below and compliance calendar are provided as a resource to help maintain a proper library of files to meet the plan reporting and disclosure requirements of ERISA. Maintaining the proper documentation is the best way to prepare for any request for information from individuals and appropriate government agencies. We suggest you keep this resource in a convenient place so you can refer to it should you need to take specific action. EJReynolds will also maintain this data on your client portal, a secure, client specific portion of our website.

A Plan Sponsor’s Responsibility: What You Should Keep

  • Signed copy of the Plan Document (including all Amendments and Restatements), copy of all authorization and adoptive resolutions committee materials and related trust agreements, including agendas, minutes and documents distributed at meetings
  • Copy of most recent IRS Determination or Opinion Letter
  • Summary Plan Description, which is a summarized description of the plan, and any summaries of material modifications
  • Annual Participant Notices, Including:
    • Participant fee disclosure initial/annual notice
    • Safe Harbor Notice, if applicable
    • Default Investment Notice (QDIA)
    • Default Enrollment Notice, if applicable
  • ADP and ACP Testing, Top-heavy and Coverage Testing Results – at least three year’s worth
  • Copies of Form Series 5500, including attachments (e.g., auditor’s report), and copies of each year’s Summary Annual Reports
  • Contribution summary reports including date of payroll and deposit confirmations
  • Plan’s Investment Policy Statement and applicable investment management agreements or contracts
  • Due diligence reviews to support choice of investment funds offered, including Annual Contract Review, Benchmarking reports and comparative historical return charts
  • Service Agreements for each Covered Service Provider
  • Participant Election Forms and Designation of Beneficiary Forms
  • Loan Application, Promissory Note and Amortization Schedule (for All Loans)
  • Most recent account statements for plan participants and their beneficiaries
  • Fidelity Bond
    • Current law requires a retirement plan which covers employees other than “principals” have fiduciary bond coverage in the event of misuse of the funds.
    • Coverage at all times must equal at least 10% of the value of the plan assets, with a minimum of $10,000, and a maximum of $500,000.
    • For plans with less than 100 participants: In the event the plan’s non-qualifying plan assets exceeds more than 5% of the total plan assets, the plan may besubject to a “Small Plan Audit” unless the bond covers 100% of the plan’s non-qualifying plan assets.

Section 107 of ERISA provides that records used to compile information that is required to be reported (e.g., Forms 5500, Summary Annual Reports) must be retained for at least 6 years. Section 209 of ERISA requires that records used to determine an employee’s benefit also must be retained. However, the law is not clear on the timeframe under Section 209 of ERISA, in which case, employers need to retain for as long as it would be deemed “prudent.” As a practical solution, employers may wish to avail themselves of the guidance contained in the DOL Final Regulations which permit electronic retention of records. 29 C.F.R. Part 2520, 67 Fed. Reg. 17264 (April 9, 2002).

2021 Compliance Calendar
For Calendar Plan and Calendar Fiscal Years

December 2020 January 2021February 2021

December 1:


Deadline for sending 2021 401(k) and (m) safe harbor notice


Deadline for sending 2021 qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) notice


Deadline for sending 2021 automatic contribution arrangement notice

December 31:


Deadline for amendment to convert existing 401(k) plan to safe harbor status for 2021 plan year


Deadline for amendment to remove safe harbor status for 2021 plan year

January 31:


Deadline for sending Form 1099-R to participants who received distributions during 2020


Deadline for filing Form 945 to report taxes withheld from participants who received distributions during 2020

February 29:


Deadline for filing Forms 1099-R and 1096 with IRS to report participant distributions made during 2020

March 2021April 2021June 2021July 2021

March 15:


Deadline for processing corrective distributions for failed actual deferral percentage (ADP)/actual contribution percentage (ACP) test without 10% excise tax for plans without an Eligible Automatic Contribution Arrangement (EACA)


Deadline for filing Sub-chapter S Corporation and Partnership Tax Returns and contribution deadline for deductibility (without extension) for those entities operating on calendar-year fiscal year


Deadline for requesting automatic extension (to September 15th) of Sub-chapter S Corporation and Partnership Tax Returns


March 31:


Deadline for filing Form 5330 used to report and pay excise taxes on prohibited transactions and excess 401(k) plan contributions that occurred in 2019 plan year


Deadline for electronic filing of Form 1099-R filing with the IRS to report distributions made in 2020

April 1:


Required Beginning Date for 2020 (based on the account balance at December 31, 2019) for a 5% owner who attained age 72 in 2020, or for a terminated participant who attained age 72 in 2020 or a participant who retired in 2020 that was born prior to July 1, 1949.*


April 15:


Deadline for processing corrective distributions for IRC Section 402(g) excesses – Deferrals in excess of the 2020 Calendar year limit


Deadline for filing C Corporation and Individual Tax Returns and contribution deadline for deductibility (without extension) for those entities operating on calendar-year fiscal year


Deadline for requesting automatic extension (to October 15th) of C Corporation and Individual Tax Returns

June 30:


Deadline for processing corrective distributions for failed 2019 ADP/ACP tests for Eligible Automatic Contribution Arrangement (EACA) Plans without 10% excise tax

July 28:


Deadline for sending Summary of Material Modification (210 days after end of plan year when modification was adopted)


July 31:


Deadline for filing Form 5500 (without extension)


Deadline for filing Form 8955-SSA (without extension)


Deadline for filing Form 5558 to request extension of time to file Form 5500 or Form 8955-SSA (to October 15)


Deadline for filing Form 5330 to report and pay excise taxes on prohibited transactions or failure to correct prohibited transactions for 2019

September 2021October 2021December 2021 

September 15:


Extended deadline for filing Tax Returns for S Corporations and Partnerships, and contribution deadline for deductibility under those entities


Deadline for contributions to meet Minimum Funding Standards under a Pension Plan


September 30:


Deadline for distributing Summary Annual Report (SAR) to participants, provided deadline for Form 5500 was not extended (later of 9 months after close of plan year or two months after due date of Form 5500)

October 15:


Extended deadline for filing Form 5500 and related Schedules


Deadline for adopting a retroactive amendment to an IRC Section 410 (b) coverage or IRC Section 401(a)(4) nondiscrimination failure for 2020


Extended deadline for filing C Corporation and Individual Tax Returns, and contribution deadline for deductibility under those entities

December 1:


Deadline for sending 2022 401(k) and (m) safe harbor notice


Deadline for sending 2022 qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) notice


Deadline for sending 2022 automatic contribution arrangement notice


December 15:


Extended deadline for distributing SAR to participants

December 31:


Deadline for processing corrective distributions for failed 2020 ADP/ACP testing with 10% excise


Deadline for correcting a failed 2020 ADP/ACP test with a qualified non-elective contribution


Deadline for amending plan for discretionary changes implemented during plan year


Required Minimum Distributions for 2021 due based on account balances as of December 31, 2020.

Generally, when the due date for an IRS or DOL form falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.


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