Last year, plan sponsors had to provide annual investment disclosures to participants by August 30 with an annual (within 12 months) distribution going forward. But in 2013, the DOL is giving a one-time delay in distributing the information to make it more convenient for plan sponsors to coordinate the timing of disclosure with other notice requirements. This year, plan sponsors have an additional six months (within 18 months of the previous distribution). And if you have already completed your 2013 annual participant disclosure, then you can use the extra time for your 2014 notices. The annual requirement is relevant to plans whether they operate on a calendar-year or fiscal-year basis, so the one-time 18 month flexibility lets you determine the best timing for your plan.
This disclosure covers the 2010 EBSA requirement to publish detailed investment-related information to plan participants and beneficiaries about the plans’ designated investment alternatives.
It would be a good idea to look and your calendar and coordinate the distribution with other notices, such as with individual benefit statements or the Qualified Default Investment Alternative. Such a grouping together not only saves money on postage, it lets you determine the timing when the information is most relevant, such as year-end or open enrollment.
Also keep in mind that while many third party administrators prepare the notices for plan sponsors, it is the plan sponsor’s responsibility to comply and to ensure accuracy.
Please contact me, Dalton Cox, if you have specific questions about 401(k) compliance issues.