Compliance and Communications

This section contains information on the reporting and communication requirements for your plan. As Plan Administrator, you will need to determine the requirements that apply to your plan based on the number of participants in your plan and your plan type.

In general, there are three types of reporting, compliance or communication requirements:

  • Communication to plan participants,
  • Plan testing requirements, such as top-heavy and nondiscrimination testing, and
  • Reporting requirements to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or Department of Labor (DOL).

Your role related to compliance requirements and plan communications, as well as the role of the ABA Retirement Funds Program (the Program) related to these matters, is described in detail in this section.


In the chart below, you will find the steps for communicating with participants and reporting to the IRS or DOL on the plan.

Steps for Communication and Reporting RequirementsPlan Participant’s RolePlan Administrator’s RoleThe Program’s Role
Participant Communications – Automatically Provided
1. What the Program provides to you
2. What you provide to participants
Participant Communications – Provided on Request
1. Participant requests information
2. Send information within 30 days of request
Plan Administrator Communications – Automatically Provided
Plan Administrator Communications – Provided on Request
Plan and Compliance Testing Requirements
1. Provide census information to the Program
2. The Program tests the plan
Plan Reporting Requirements
1. Provide census information to the Program
2. The Program provides Form 5500 to be filed electronically with the Department of Labor (DOL) or Form 5500EZ to be filed by mail, and the Summary Annual Report (SAR) to be distributed to plan participants.
3. Review and file Form 5500 electronically with DOL or mail Form 5500EZ to IRS
4. Send SAR to participants