Table 5. Key information your plan administrator must provide automatically




Summary Plan Description (SPD)

A summary version of the plan document and other important plan information, in easier-to-understand language.

Within 90 days of becoming a participant in the plan, and an updated copy every 10 years (5 years if the plan has been amended).

Summary of Material Modifications

A summary of significant plan changes or changes in the information required to be in the SPD.

Within 7 months of the end of the plan year in which the changes were made.

Summary Annual Report

A summary of financial information filed by the plan on its Form 5500 Annual Return/Report.

Within 9 months after the end of the plan year or 2 months after the annual report filing deadline.

Notice of Significant Reduction in Future Benefit Accruals

Notice of any significant reduction in the rate of future benefit accruals, the elimination, or significant reduction in an early retirement benefit or retirement-type subsidy. Applies to defined benefit plans and certain defined contribution plans.

Within a reasonable time before the effective date of the plan amendment.

Blackout notice

Notice of a period of more than 3 consecutive business days when there is a temporary suspension, limitation or restriction on directing or diversifying plan assets, obtaining loans, or obtaining distributions. Applies to 401(k) or other individual account plans.

Generally, at least 30 days before the blackout date.

Notice to Participants of Underfunded Plan

Plan For defined benefit plans that are less than 90% funded, the notice of the funding level of the plan and information on PBGC guarantees.

Within 2 months after the due date for filing the annual report.

Table 6. Key information your plan administrator must provide upon written request




Individual Benefit Statement

Statements of total accrued benefits and total vested pension benefits, and the earliest date on which nonvested benefits become vested.

Free (no more than once a year)

Plan Documents

Documents that provide the terms of the plan, including collective bargaining agreements and trust agreements.

Reasonable copying charge

Annual Report (Form 5500) most recent report

Financial information about the plan that most plans are required to file with the government within 7 months of the end of the plan year.

Reasonable copying charge