The time is now to get serious about Employee Income Retirement Security Act (ERISA) compliance. If you recently switched health carriers this year or have certain forms to file, you may be at the mercy of impending deadlines. Start planning and completing your 2016 filings to avoid any potential penalties your company could face.A total of 7,163 ERISA claims were filed last year resulting in a whoppping $1.3 billion settlement. The Department of Labor (DOL) is cracking down on ERISA compliance, so make sure you are aware of which deadlines are just around the corner.
3 Upcoming Deadlines Regarding Your 2016 Filings
- With an effective date of January 1, the Wrap or Summary Plan Description documents must be distributed to plan participants within 90 days of being covered by the plan or 120 days if new ERISA plan. Meaning, documents must be distributed by the end of March.
- Is your company required to file a Form 5500? If so, you have until the last day of the 7th month from the end of the plan year to file or to file an extension. For example, a plan year ending December 31 is required to file the Form 5500 or an extension by July 31.
- Summary Annual Reports (SAR), an annual report summarizing the annual report (Form 5500) must be distributed to participants within 9 months after the close of the plan year. For example, a plan year ending December and filing an extension of two and a half months, the plan must send out the SAR by December 15th.
ERISA urges employers to keep participants and their beneficiaries informed about plan provisions and changes by putting in place a few requirements regarding health and welfare and retirement plans. These requirements include plan documents, summary plan descriptions, reporting and filing requirements, and claims procedures. Along with this, ERISA compliance also mandates plans to adhere to several amendments to the regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).