ERISA - Important Deadlines

ERISA 5500 calendar

Plan Year Specific Dates
If Your Plan Year Ends: Online Data Availability Date: Your Filing Deadline: Your Extension Deadline:
January 31 May 31 August 31 November 15
February 29 June 30 September 30 December 15
March 31 July 31 October 31 January 15
April 30 August 31 November 30 February 15
May 31 September 30 December 31 March 15
June 30 October 31 January 31 April 15
July 31 November 30 February 29 May 15
August 31 December 31 March 31 June 15
September 30 January 31 April 30 July 15
October 31 February 29 May 31 August 15
November 30 March 31 June 30 September 15
December 31 April 30 July 31 October 15

Summary Annual Report

A summary annual report must be sent to each plan participant and beneficiary receiving benefits within nine months of the end of the plan year. If you obtain an extension of the deadline for filing Form 5500, the deadline for distributing the summary annual report is automatically extended to two months after the new deadline for filing Form 5500.

Fund Sponsor 5500 information

Fund sponsors such as TIAA-CREF are required to send 5500 information to the plan administrator within 120 days of the close of the plan year.

Requests by the Department of Labor

Plan administrators of employee benefit plans covered by ERISA are required to provide the Department of Labor (DOL), on request, any documents relating to the employee benefit plan. The DOL requires plan administrators to provide these plan documents to the DOL within 30 days of a DOL request. Failure to do so could result in penalties of $100 per day, up to a maximum of $1,000.

Filing Form 5500

Institutions with plans subject to ERISA are required to file separate Form 5500 reports for each plan no later than the last day of the seventh month following the end of the plan year. For example, if a plan year ends December 31, 2006, the filing deadline is July 31, 2007.

Note that if your filing date falls on a weekend or national holiday, your date will be extended to the next business day.

If you can't meet the deadline

You can apply for an extension of the filing deadline of up to two-and-a-half months. Here's how:

  • Apply before the regular filing deadline using Form 5558, which is still filed with the IRS
  • Include a photocopy of the filed Form 5558 in the plan's Form 5500 filing with the DOL

If your plan year and tax year are the same (e.g., both use the calendar year) and you obtain an extension of the deadline for filing your institution's tax return, the deadline for filing Form 5500 is automatically extended to the same date as the new deadline for filing the tax return. However, you must include a photocopy of the application for extension of time in the plan's Form 5500 filing with the DOL in order for the extension to apply.

© 2014 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), New York, NY 10017