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Jan 01 2025


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Distribute Summary Plan Description (SPD)

Who Does This Impact?
  • All employee benefit plans subject to Title 1 of ERISA
Due Date Details

For new plans, 120 days after plan’s effective date.

For amended plans, once every five years.

For all other plans, once every ten years.

For new participants, within 90 days of becoming a participant.

For beneficiaries’ receiving benefits, within 90 days of first receiving benefits.

Filing Requirement(s)?

No filing requirement.

Who Gets It?

401k Plan participants and beneficiaries

Get The Details
  • Summary of plan provisions and certain standard language as required by ERISA

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires plan administrators to give to participants and beneficiaries a Summary Plan Description (SPD) describing their rights, benefits, and responsibilities under the plan in understandable language. The SPD includes such information as:

  • Name and type of plan
  • Plan’s requirements regarding eligibility
  • Description of benefits and when participants have a right to those benefits
  • Statement that the plan is maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, if applicable
  • Statement about whether the plan is covered by termination insurance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
  • Source of contributions to the plan and the methods used to calculate the amount of contributions
  • Provisions governing termination of the plan
  • Procedures regarding claims for benefits and remedies for disputing denied claims
  • Statement of rights available to plan participants under ERISA.

New employees must receive a copy of their plan sponsor’s latest Summary Plan Description within 90 days after becoming covered by the plan. Plan sponsors are not required to file the Summary Plan Description with the Department of Labor (DOL), although they are required to provide it to DOL upon request.

Is There a Template Available To Help Me?
401k Resource Guide (source: IRS)

The Department of Labor has assembled resources to assist in meeting this requirement, include Microsoft Word templates. Please note, these templates reflect the new requirements for 2021 and must be used for any plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2021.

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