Key 401(k) Compliance Dates
While many of these responsibilities are handled by Betterment, as a 401(k) plan sponsor it’s important that you are aware of important dates and deadlines associated with administering your plan.
|Date||Responsibility||Previous Plan Year||Current Plan Year|
|Jan 31||Betterment||IRS Forms 1099-R available to participants.|
|Feb 10||Betterment||Annual Return of Withheld Federal Income Tax (Form 945) due.|
|Mar 1||Participant||Deadline for employees who participated in multiple plans to notify sponsors of excess deferrals (402(g) excess).|
|Mar 15||Betterment||Deadline for refunds to participants for failed ADP/ACP tests(s). Failure to meet this deadline could result in a 10% tax penalty for plan sponsors.|
|Mar 15||Plan Sponsor||Employer contributions (e.g., profit sharing, match, safe harbor) due for deductibility for incorporated entities.¹ Failure to meet this deadline could preclude plan sponsor from tax deductibility.||Deadline to establish plan for the prior tax year|
|Apr 1||Plan Sponsor||Deadline to confirm that Initial Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) were taken by participants who: turned 72 ² before previous year-end; are retired/terminated; and have a balance|
|Apr 15 ³||Plan Sponsor||Employer contributions (e.g., profit sharing, match, safe harbor) due for deductibility for LLCs, LLPs, sole proprietorships (unincorporated entities).¹ Failure to meet this deadline could preclude plan sponsors from tax deductibility.|
|Apr 15||Betterment||Deadline to complete corrective distributions for 402(g) excess deferrals.|
|Jul 29 ⁴||Plan Sponsor||Deadline to distribute Summary of Material Modifications (SMM) to participants (only if plan was amended).|
|Jul 31 ³||Betterment ⁴||Deadline to electronically submit Form 5500 (and third-party audit if applicable) OR request an extension (Form 5558).|
|Sep 30||Plan Sponsor||Deadline to distribute Summary Annual Report (SAR) to participants and beneficiaries (unless Form 5500 extension filed; deadline to distribute will be December 15).|
|Oct 1||Plan Sponsor||Deadline to establish a new safe harbor match 401(k) plan.|
|Oct 15 ³||Plan Sponsor||Deadline to electronically submit Form 5500 and third-party audit, if applicable, if granted a Form 5558 extension.|
|Dec 1||Plan Sponsor (Notices prepared by Betterment)||Deadline to distribute supplemental safe harbor notice to participants for safe harbor (“maybe”) plans. ⁵|
|Dec 1||Plan Sponsor (Notices prepared by Betterment)||If applicable, distribute to participants for next plan year: Safe harbor notice, Qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) notice, Automatic enrollment notice|
|Dec 1||Plan Sponsor (Amendment drafted by Betterment)||Deadline to execute amendment to make a traditional plan any type of safe harbor plan (match or nonelective).||Deadline to execute amendment to make a traditional plan a safe harbor match plan for following plan year|
|Dec 15||Plan Sponsor (SAR prepared by Betterment)||Deadline to distribute Summary Annual Report (SAR) to participants, if granted a Form 5558 extension.|
|Dec 31||Plan Sponsor||Deadline to make safe harbor and other fixed employer contributions.||Deadline for Annual Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs). Art|
|Dec 31||Plan Sponsor||Deadline to execute amendment to make traditional plan a 3% safe harbor nonelective plan for the current plan year|
¹ Assumes calendar tax year. Additionally, if your company files a tax extension, you have until the extension deadline to fund the contributions.
² This was increased from 70½ in 2019 and earlier years.
³ Or first business day thereafter.
⁴ 210 days after the year end of the effective amended date, which is July 28 in leap years.
⁵ Safe harbor “maybe” Plans (specified in the plan document) are able to adopt a safe harbor nonelective plan 30 days before the end of the plan year. Please review your plan document to confirm if the plan has adopted such a provision.