As year-end approaches, sponsors of calendar-year 401(k) plans should prepare to provide the following annual notices (if applicable):  

  • Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA). Plans that invest participant contributions in a QDIA because the participant failed to make an investment election must provide an annual notice at least 30 days before the beginning of the plan year.  
  • Safe Harbor Notice. Plan sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans must provide an annual notice to plan participants at least 30 and not more than 90 days prior to the beginning of the plan year. The safe harbor notice must describe the safe harbor contribution and other material plan features. The safe harbor notice can be combined with the QDIA notice.  
  • Automatic Enrollment Notice. 401(k) plan sponsors of Eligible Automatic Contribution Arrangements (EACA) and Qualified Automatic Contribution Arrangements (QACA) must provide an annual notice, at least 30 days and not more than 90 days before the beginning of the plan year, to all participants on whose behalf contributions may be automatically contributed to the plan. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) previously posted a sample notice for these two types of automatic contribution arrangements that can be tailored to each plan. The automatic enrollment notice can be combined with the QDIA notice.