There is an ever growing list of annual notices that must be distributed in connection with the routine operation of qualified plans. That list includes the following:

  • Employers using a “safe harbor” 401(k) plan design with a calendar year plan year will need to distribute the 2013 safe harbor notice by the end of November;
  • Employers using the provision that allows a participant’s first automatic contributions to be withdrawn within 90 days must provide an annual notice apprising employees of their rights and obligations within a period of at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the year, again by the end of November in the case of a calendar year plan; and
  • Employers taking advantage of a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) arrangement must provide participants with information about the arrangement at least 30 days prior to the start of each plan year (the end of November in the case of a calendar year plan).

And, for the first time, plan administrators of participant-directed plans (such as 401(k) plans) are required to provide quarterly fee disclosures reflecting the fees and expenses actually deducted from the accounts of participants and beneficiaries during the third quarter of 2012 no later than 45 days after the end of the quarter (November 14, 2012 for calendar year plans). For more information on the new fee disclosure rules, please see our advisory.