Is Your Safe Harbor Section 401(k) Plan Required to Provide an Annual Notice?

Sponsors of safe harbor Section 401(k) plans should consider whether they are required to provide their annual safe harbor notice in 2020 for the upcoming 2021 plan year.  The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (“SECURE”) Act, which was enacted on December 20, 2019, changed the annual notice requirements for some safe harbor Section 401(k) plans.

Prior to the SECURE Act, safe harbor Section 401(k) plans were required to meet certain annual notice requirements regardless of whether they relied on matching or nonelective contributions to satisfy the safe harbor requirement.  The Internal Revenue Code requires that this annual safe harbor notice be provided to participants within a reasonable period before the beginning of the plan year.  Read More ›

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The IRS Significantly Increased the Availability of Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans

Mid-year changes to safe harbor 401(k) plans have long been thought to be available in only very limited circumstances.  However, the IRS recently released guidance in Notice 2016-16 that significantly increases the scope of permissible mid-year changes to safe harbor 401(k) plans.

Generally, safe harbor 401(k) plan provisions must be adopted (and participants must be notified) before the first day of the plan year and remain in effect for the entire 12-month plan year.  Such a plan generally loses its safe harbor status if changes are made during the plan year.  However, the safe harbor regulations set out the following limited exceptions to the general rule:

1.   Read More ›

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