29 CFR 2520.104-49 - Alternative method of compliance for certain simplified employee pensions.
Under the authority of section 110 of the Act, the provisions of this section are prescribed as an alternative method of compliance with the reporting and disclosure requirements set forth in part 1 of title I of the Act for a simplified employee pension (SEP) described in section 408(k) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as amended, except for:
(a) At the time an employee becomes eligible to participate in the SEP (whether at the creation of the SEP or thereafter) or up to 90 days after the effective date of this regulation, whichever is later, the administrator of the SEP (generally the employer establishing or maintaining the SEP) shall furnish the employee in writing with:
(1) Specific information concerning the SEP, including:
(i) The requirements for employee participation in the SEP,
(ii) The formula to be used to allocate employer contributions made under the SEP to each participant's individual retirement account or annuity (IRA),
(iii) The name or title of the individual who is designated by the employer to provide additional information to participants concerning the SEP, and
(iv) If the employer who establishes or maintains the SEP selects, recommends or substantially influences its employees to choose the IRAs into which employer contributions under the SEP will be made, a clear explanation of the terms of those IRAs, such as the rate(s) of return and any restrictions on a participant's ability to roll over or withdraw funds from the IRAs, including restrictions that allow rollovers or withdrawals but reduce earnings of the IRAs or impose other penalties.
(2) General information concerning SEPs and IRAs, including a clear explanation of:
(i) What a SEP is and how it operates,
(ii) The statutory provisions prohibiting discrimination in favor of highly compensated employees,
(iii) A participant's right to receive contributions under a SEP-and the allowable sources of contributions to a SEP-related IRA (SEP-IRA),
(iv) The statutory limits on contributions to SEP-IRAs,
(v) The consequences of excess contributions to a SEP-IRA and how to avoid excess contributions,
(vi) A participant's rights with respect to contributions made under a SEP to his or her IRA(s),
(vii) How a participant must treat contributions to a SEP-IRA for tax purposes,
(viii) The statutory provisions concerning withdrawal of funds from a SEP-IRA and the consequences of a premature withdrawal, and
(ix) A participant's ability to roll over or transfer funds from a SEP-IRA to another IRA, SEP-IRA, or retirement bond, and how such a rollover or transfer may be effected without causing adverse tax consequences.
(3) A statement to the effect that:
(i) IRAs other than the IRA(s) into which employer contributions will be made under the SEP may provide different rates of return and may have different terms concerning, among other things, transfers and withdrawals of funds from the IRA(s),
(ii) In the event a participant is entitled to make a contribution or rollover to an IRA, such contribution or rollover can be made to an IRA other than the one into which employer contributions under the SEP are to be made, and
(iii) Depending on the terms of the IRA into which employer contributions are made, a participant may be able to make rollovers or transfers of funds from that IRA to another IRA.
(4) A description of the disclosure required by the Internal Revenue Service to be made to individuals for whose benefit an IRA is established by the financial institution or other person who sponsors the IRA(s) into which contributions will be made under the SEP.
(5) A statement that, in addition to the information provided to an employee at the time he or she becomes eligible to participate in a SEP, the administrator of the SEP must furnish each participant:
(i) Within 30 days of the effective date of any amendment to the terms of the SEP, a copy of the amendment and a clear written explanation of its effects, and
(ii) No later than the later of:
(A) January 31 of the year following the year for which a contribution is made,
(B) 30 days after a contribution is made, or
(C) 30 days after the effective date of this regulation
(6) In the case of a SEP that provides for integration with Social Security
(i) A statement that Social Security taxes paid by the employer on account of a participant will be considered as an employer contribution under the SEP to a participant's SEP-IRA for purposes of determining the amount contributed to the SEP-IRA(s) of a participant by the employer pursuant to the allocation formula,
(ii) A description of the effect that integration with Social Security would have on employer contributions under a SEP, and
(iii) The integration formula, which may constitute part of the allocation formula required by paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section.
(1) The requirements of paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (ii), (iii) and (a)(6)(i) of this regulation may be met by furnishing the SEP agreement to participants, provided that the SEP agreement is written in a manner reasonably calculated to be understood by the average plan participant.
(2) The requirements of paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this regulation may be met through disclosure materials furnished by the financial institution in which the participant's IRA is maintained, provided the materials contain the information specified in such paragraph.
(c) No later than the later of:
(1) January 31 of the year following the year for which a contribution is made,
(2) 30 days after a contribution is made, or
(3) 30 days after the effective date of this regulation
(d) Within 30 days of the effective date of any amendment to the terms of the SEP, the administrator shall furnish each participant a copy of the amendment and a clear explanation in writing of its effect.