2017 Year-End Retirement Plan Deadlines Sponsors Should Be Aware Of

Last Updated: December 04, 2017

As we close out 2017 and enter into 2018, plan sponsors have retirement plan administration deadlines that need to be completed to avoid consequences for the plan. In past years, sponsors have had a significant amount of deadlines to meet before the end of the year. Fortunately, this year there have not been as many legislative changes that require plan amendments.

Kyle Halberg, JD, Manager of ERISA and Vendor Services with Pension Consultants states, “Retirement plan fiduciaries must be aware of the many important deadlines involved in properly administering their retirement plan. Missing any of these deadlines can lead to serious consequences for the fiduciary and the plan. Part of our job is to make sure we help plan fiduciaries meet deadlines and administer their plans properly.” With that being said, Pension Consultants has outlined up-and-coming items to help plan sponsors close the book on 2017, and get a head start on 2018.

Missing any of these deadlines can lead to serious consequences for the fiduciary and the plan.


Plan Sponsor End-of-Year Deadlines:

  • December 1st – Finish Distributing Notices – the last day to distribute 401(k) safe harbor, Qualified Automatic Contribution Arrangements (QACA), Qualified Default Investment Alternatives (QDIA), Eligible Automatic Contribution Arrangement (EACA), and Automatic Contribution Arrangement (ACA) notices to plan participants.
  • December 15th – Last date to distribute Summary Annual Report (SAR) to participants if sponsor requested an extension for filing Form 5500.
  • December 31st – Last day to make corrective distributions for failed Annual Deferral Percentage (ADP)/Annual Contribution Percentage (ACP) tests from previous plan year (2016). A 10% excise tax will be imposed.
  • December 31st – Amend plan for changes implemented during 2017.
  • December 31st – Make Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) to participants whose required beginning date has already occurred.


Plan Sponsor Beginning-of-Year Deadlines:

  • January 1st – December 31st – [403(b) Plans only] – Send annual notices to employees regarding Universal Availability Rules.
  • January 31st – Due date to send participants Form 1099-R for those who received distributions during the prior calendar year (2017).
  • January 31st – File Form 945 with the IRS to report income tax withheld during the prior calendar year (2017).


The end of the year is a great time for plan sponsors to review their company’s plan and make sure the plan is operating properly. It’s also a good time to evaluate what benefits employees are utilizing and review if new features are beneficial.

Download our FREE 2017 Compliance Calendar for a comprehensive deadline list. Additionally, make sure to check back continually with the IRS for Updated Required Amendments List for Qualified Retirement Plans. Sponsors can find 2016’s IRS Notice 2016-80 Here.

If you are a plan sponsor and would like more information on upcoming retirement plan deadlines or need help with plan administration, contact Pension Consultants’ ERISA Services Team at, or call 800-234-9584.


PCI’s archived blog entries are dated, the rules and statutes referenced may have changed. The analysis or guidance within these blog entries may have become stale, dated, or no longer accurate. PCI will not update or change these entries to reflect the latest analysis or development.


Pension Consultants, Inc.



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