December 2017

Pension Trends Newsletter

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Summary of Key Deadlines for Defined Benefit Plans

Independent Actuaries, Inc. specializes in design and administration of defined benefit pension plans. We take care of all the details, including calculating minimum and maximum contributions, designing amendments to control contribution amounts and preparation of all government filings.

As is the case with all issues affected by tax and labor law, defined benefit plans must comply with various deadlines. Below is a summary of key deadlines for the defined benefit plan of a typical small employer. This checklist is designed to aid CPA’s and plan sponsors in meeting plan operational deadlines.

Event Deadline If Plan Year Ends
December 31, 2018,
Due Date is:
Submission of employee and plan financial data Requested by IAI in 1st month of plan year, submit to IAI as soon after that as possible As soon as possible after December 31, 2017

The sooner IAI receives the information, the sooner we can begin work on the plan.

Deposit of deductible contribution for prior fiscal year Deadline, including extensions for filing business tax return* 3/15/2018 for most corporations, 9/15/2018 with extension

Assumes plan year and fiscal year are the same.

Deposit of minimum required contribution 8½ months after end of plan year* 9/15/2019
Quarterly contribution deposits

In some instances a requirement to make minimum contributions quarterly applies.

Middle of 4th, 7th and 10th month of the plan year and middle of 1st month of next plan year* 4/15/2018, 7/15/2018, 10/15/2018, 1/15/2019
AFTAP Certification




End of 3rd month after plan year begins

End of 9th month after plan year begins




Form 5500 or 5500-EZ due

without extension

with extension


7 months after plan year ends

9½ months after plan year ends




Summary Annual Report to participants (not PBGC covered) 60 days after Form 5500 due date 09/30/2019, or 12/15/2019 if Form 5500 is extended
Annual Funding Notice to participants (PBGC covered) 9½ months after plan year ends 10/15/2019, or date 2018 Form 5500 is filed, if earlier
PBGC Comprehensive Premium Filing due

Professional corporations with less than 25 employees and businesses employing only the owner and spouse are exempt.

9½ months after plan year begins or, for a new plan, 90 days after plan is adopted, if later 10/15/2019

In addition to the above events that occur annually, the following events which also have reporting deadlines, may occur: minimum required distributions to participants, tax reporting to participants for required or voluntary distribution and tax reporting to the IRS for required or voluntary distributions to participants.

*Next business day is not available for plan contributions.

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This article was adapted from our February 2001 Pension Trends Newsletter.