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Peter Gulia

How many disclosure items in a typical year?

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Does anyone have a count of how many notices, statements, reports, and other disclosure items an individual-account retirement plan furnishes (or ought to have furnished) in a typical year?

 

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Let's make a list. A lot of them are conditional depending on plan design.

  • SAR (if not subject to Title IV)
  • AFN (if subject to Title IV)
  • Benefit Statement (4x per year if participant-directed DC plan, 1x per year if not participant-directed, 1x per 3 years if DB plan)
    • For a participant-directed plan, the benefit statement might include the additional information required by ERISA 105(a)(2), or it could be furnished in separate notice(s)
  • Safe Harbor Notice (if a safe harbor 401(k) plan)
  • QDIA Notice (if plan uses a QDIA)
  • EACA Notice (if an EACA)
  • QACA Notice (if a QACA)

What else am I missing?

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Thanks.  C.B. Zeller starts us with, for an individual-account (defined-contribution) retirement plan with participant-directed investment, about eight or nine items.  I add a 404a-5 notice, making it nine or ten.

 

What have we missed?

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There is a whole host of "Compliance Calendars" in the BenefitsLink news archive -- maybe a quick run through one or more of those would help?

Here are a few (and for differing types of plans): 

https://benefitslink.com/news/index.cgi/view/20200127-155620

https://benefitslink.com/news/index.cgi/view/20200127-155621

https://benefitslink.com/news/index.cgi/view/20200226-156243

(There are more, and by different authors ... the search engine should find a few.)

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Again, conditional:  402(f) Notice for distributions, SMM/SPD for amendments.

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Another one that might apply on an annual basis is an ERISA 101(j) notice for a plan that is subject to benefit restrictions due to its funded status.

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Typical year might vary depending on the number of participants.  If you have 50 participants, there are notices and disclosures that will probably not be triggered every year, or even every other year.  If you have 1,000 or more, those rare notices and disclosures for the 50 participant plan may happen at least once per year.

  1. SAR
  2. SPD
  3. SMM
  4. QDIA
  5. Annual 404a-5 disclosure and Investment Comparative Chart
  6. Changes in investment alternatives
  7. Changes in fees charged to participant accounts (404a-5)
  8. Changes in fees (408b-2)
  9. Quarterly 404a-5
  10. QACA
  11. EACA
  12. Annual benefit statement
  13. 404(c)
  14. Promissory note for particpant loans
  15. Truth in lending disclosure (still applies to some loans right?)
  16. QDRO procedure upon request
  17. QDRO notice (DRO received is qualified or not qualified)
  18. Mapping notice
  19. black out notice
  20. AFN, accrued and vested benefits, 204h, failure to meet minimum funding, funding based limitations  [Im sure there are more, I admit I rely heavily on the actuaries to handle the DB related stuff....] 

 

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To further the conversation and concept - which of these can be provided electronically, versus which are required distribution via mail?  Oh - and let's add the ERISA Desk log to confirm individuals included in the correspondence in the event of a DOL audit.

 

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Thank you, everyone, for crowd-sourcing these lists.

 

To answer Erik Read’s query:

 

A retirement plan’s administrator may, beginning July 27, furnish routine* ERISA-required disclosures under the Labor department’s Default Electronic Disclosure rule.  (There are distinctions between which can be included in a yearly notice of internet availability, and which require a distinct pointer or delivery.)

 

Further, some guess the Treasury might publish a rule or subregulatory guidance to say Labor’s regime is good enough for notices tax law requires (for whatever Treasury’s guidance doesn’t yet allow).

 

* The ERISA rule does not provide its safe-harbor treatment for furnishing on-request items.  However, some consider it reasonable to respond to an emailed request with an email response.  A response might state the administrator’s presumption that it need not send a paper copy for a document furnished as a .pdf attached to an email.

 

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45 minutes ago, Peter Gulia said:

* The ERISA rule does not provide its safe-harbor treatment for furnishing on-request items. 

The big development here was to default to electronic without consent.  Part of the reasoning being that it is difficult/inconvenient to get an affirmative election from a large number of people.  Presumably, you dont need to default to electronic delivery for a document that is available only by request.  

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