(b)lines Ask the Experts – Compliance Deadlines Falling on Weekends

December 10, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR (b)lines) – “The recent deadline for distribution of QDIA Notices, automatic enrollment notices, and safe harbor plan notices  was December 1 for calendar year plans.

“Since 12/1 fell on a weekend this year, was the actual deadline the next business day (December 2)?” 

Michael A. Webb, Vice President, Retirement Plan Services, Cammack LaRhette Consulting, answers:

Excellent question! The deadline for all of these notices is set by statute as “no later than 30 days prior to the end of the plan year.” For calendar year plans, one would believe that this date is 12/1, since the month of December has 31 days.

However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) apparently interprets this as meaning you can distribute the notice on the 30th day prior to plan year-end, and still satisfy the deadline. Thus the notice can actually be distributed on December 2, negating the issue of December 1 occurring on a weekend. The IRS confirms on its website that December 2 is indeed the applicable date.  

Though it turns out to be irrelevant in this example, it is important to be aware what occurs when deadlines do, in fact, fall on a weekend or holiday. As our readers may be aware from a prior Ask the Experts column (see “Ask the Experts: What IRS Holidays Would Allow for Extensions?”) or from other sources, governmental filing deadlines are extended when the date falls on a weekend or holiday when the government office is not open for business to receive the filing. However, this practice does NOT extend to distribution of required documents to participants, such as the ones you mention. Thus, if the deadline for a required participant disclosure occurred on a weekend or holiday, that day is indeed the deadline and is not extended. Whether or not a plan sponsor’s office is open or not on the deadline day for participant disclosures has no effect on the deadline.

We thank you for your inquiry and encourage readers to keep those questions coming!


NOTE: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.