Explanation of plan events that may require retirement plan participant notices, which notices retirement plan participants should receive based on these plan events and when these notices should be issued.
When the plan is amended
When the plan is amended or when the information in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) has changed, participants should receive a Summary of Material Modifications (SMM).
When a plan sponsor submits an application
When a plan sponsor submits an application to the IRS for determination of the qualified status of a new or amended plan or upon plan termination, participants are allowed to comment to the IRS and/or DOL regarding the plan’s qualification and must be notified of their right to comment with an Interested Party Notice.
When the end of the plan year has passed
When the end of the plan year has passed, participants should receive a Summary Annual Report (SAR).
When the plan is intended to be a safe harbor plan
When the plan is intended to be an IRC 401(k) or (m) safe harbor plan, an annual notice must be provided to all employees eligible to participate in the plan.
When the employer fails to make a required contribution
When the employer fails to make a required contribution under the minimum funding standards, a disclosure notice is required.
When the employer requests a waiver of the minimum funding requirement
When the employer requests a waiver of the minimum funding requirement, a disclosure notice must be provided to plan participants, beneficiaries and alternate payees.
When future benefit accruals will be significantly reduced
When future benefit accruals will be significantly reduced by a plan amendment, participants should receive a notice explaining how future accruals are expected to be reduced. The notice is generally referred to as a 204(h) Notice.
When a plan is to be terminated
When a plan is to be terminated, participants must receive a written notice of the company’s intention to terminate the plan and a notice of plan benefits.
Annual funding notice
A defined benefit plan must issue annual information to participants about the plan's funding level, assets and benefits covered by PBGC insurance.
When excess pension assets are to be transferred
When excess pension assets are to be transferred to retiree health benefit accounts, participants should receive a notice of the employer’s intent to transfer these assets.
When a 401(k) plan fails nondiscrimination tests
When an IRC 401(k) plan fails the actual deferral percentage (ADP) test or actual contribution percentage (ACP) test, the plan administrator should issue a notice of correction letter to all affected highly compensated employees, or when applicable, a notice that a corrective distribution is being made.
When a plan may impose a blackout period
In an individual account plan, the plan may impose a blackout period during which there can be a temporary suspension, limitation, or restriction on the ability of participants to direct or diversify assets or to obtain loans or take plan distributions. When a blackout period is imposed, participants should be formally advised about the duration and limitations of the blackout period.