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Annual Deadlines

Qualified retirement plans have many recurring deadlines throughout each plan year. It is important to know the deadlines for different government filings, participant notices, plan amendments, contributions, and other actions required of the plan sponsor. Missing these deadlines can have significant consequences.

The following table summarizes basic deadlines that are approaching for defined benefit pension plans (DB) and/or defined contribution plans (DC). This table is for informational purposes only and may not be comprehensive under all circumstances. Other deadlines may apply under other situations (such as a short plan year or if your plan has a plan year different from the fiscal year).

To determine which basic deadlines apply to your plan, find the month and day that corresponds to the end of your plan’s year in the first column of the table below and read across to see which deadlines are approaching in the next two months. More than one deadline may apply in the same month and some deadlines shown may not apply to your plan.

The following two deadlines do not depend on a plan’s plan year end:

December 31, 2021 – 2021 Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) deadline for participants born before July 1, 1949 who reached age 70 1/2 in a previous calendar year.

January 31, 2022 – 2021 Form 1099-R due to participants who received distribution(s) in 2021 calendar year and 2021 Form 945 filed with IRS to remit any withholding still due.

Plan Year End This Month (December) Next Month (January)
January 31 3rd Quarter 2021 Plan Year Periodic Benefit Statement (DC only) 2020 SAR to Participants (w/ extension)
Benefit Restriction Notice to Participants (DB only – assuming 2021 AFTAP not yet certified by actuary) New Plan or Discretionary Amendment Adoption for 2021 Plan Year
Correction of Failed 2021 Plan Year ADP/ACP Test
Safe Harbor Notice to Participants for 2022 Plan Year
February 28 2020 Form 5500 (w/ extension) 3rd Quarter 2021 Plan Year Periodic Benefit Statement (DC only)
2020 AFN to Participants (DB only – less than 100 participants)* Safe Harbor Notice to Participants for 2022 Plan Year
2021 PBGC Comprehensive Premium Filing (DB only)
Benefit Restriction Notice to Participants (DB only – assuming 2021 AFTAP not yet certified by actuary)
March 31 Contribution for 2020 Plan Year 2020 Form 5500 (w/ extension)
2020 SAR to Participants (w/o extension) 2020 AFN to Participants (DB only – less than 100 participants)*
10th Month 2021 AFTAP Certification (DB only) 2021 PBGC Comprehensive Premium Filing (DB only)
Benefit Restriction Notice to Participants (DB only – assuming 10th month 2021 AFTAP missed)
April 30 2nd Quarter 2021 Plan Year Periodic Benefit Statement (DC only) Contribution for 2020 Plan Year
2020 SAR to Participants (w/o extension)
10th Month 2021 AFTAP Certification (DB only)
May 31 2020 Form 5500 (w/o extension) 2nd Quarter 2021 Plan Year Periodic Benefit Statement (DC only)
June 30 2020 Form 5500 (w/o extension)
July 31 1st Quarter 2021 Plan Year Periodic Benefit Statement (DC only)
August 31 2020 AFN to Participants (DB only – 100 or more participants) 1st Quarter 2021 Plan Year Periodic Benefit Statement (DC only)
September 30 Corrective Distributions for Failed 2020 Plan Year ADP/ACP test 2020 AFN to Participants (DB only – 100 or more participants)
4th Month 2021 AFTAP Certification (DB only)
October 31 4th Quarter 2020 Plan Year Periodic Benefit Statement (DC only) Corrective Distributions for Failed 2020 Plan Year ADP/ACP test
  4th Month 2021 AFTAP Certification (DB only)
November 30 4th Quarter 2020 Plan Year Periodic Benefit Statement (DC only)
December 31 2020 SAR to Participants (w/ extension)
New Plan or Discretionary Amendment Adoption for 2021 Plan Year
Correction of Failed 2021 Plan Year ADP/ACP Test
Safe Harbor Notice to Participants for 2022 Plan Year

*AFN due by Form 5500 filing date, regardless of available extended due date.