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SMM timing--ridiculous?

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This one always gets me.  The deadline to furnish the SMM is 210 days after the plan year in which the amendment is adopted.

So, if a plan amends to allow in-service withdrawals effective Feb 1, 2021, they don't have to tell the participants about it until August 2022?  19 months after the effective date of the amendment?

Doesn't seem right.


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Technically correct. (I didn't count the exact 210 days...) - I would say, however, that nearly every plan we work with notifies pretty promptly, either through the SMM we provide when we do the amendment, or through some other means.

When you have something like an amendment, with an extended remedial amendment period, it becomes even longer. Look at CARES/Secure Act amendments, for example. Again, I believe that most plan sponsors out there do provide reasonably timely notifications of operational changes.

Personally, I'm glad about the SMM deadlines. Gets some people out of trouble when they don't provide them quickly.

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I thought it was 210 days after the end of the plan year.

However, to satisfy nondiscrimination regarding benefits, rights, and features, and depending on what is being amended, you may need to notify employees earlier. In your example, if an HCE knows about the option and wants to use it, then you should notify all the affected participants to avoid any perceived discrimination. 

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23 hours ago, John Feldt ERPA CPC QPA said:

thought it was 210 days after the end of the plan year.

§ 2520.104b-3

...the plan administrator shall furnish this summary, written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant, not later than 210 days after the close of the plan year in which the modification or change was adopted.

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