Plan Compliance Calendar

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on July 21, 2023

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Definition of Plan Compliance Calendar

A Plan Compliance Calendar is a tool used in retirement planning to ensure that a retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or a pension plan, remains in compliance with various rules and regulations set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and other relevant authorities.

The calendar serves as a schedule of important deadlines and tasks that must be completed throughout the year to maintain the plan's tax-advantaged status and to avoid penalties or fines for non-compliance.

Setting up a Plan Compliance Calendar

Identifying Key Dates and Deadlines

The first step in creating a plan compliance calendar is to identify important dates and deadlines related to retirement planning. These may include:

1. IRS Deadlines: Be aware of tax filing deadlines and Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs).

2. Financial Institution Deadlines: Know the deadlines for making contributions to various retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s.

3. Personal Milestones: Include important personal dates, such as planned retirement age and key financial goals.

    Creating a Calendar Format

    There are several ways to create a plan compliance calendar, including:

    • Physical Calendars: A traditional paper calendar can be used to track important dates.

    • Digital Calendars and Apps: Use electronic calendars or specialized apps designed for retirement planning to set reminders and track progress.

    • Hybrid Solutions: Combine physical and digital tools to create a customized plan compliance calendar that suits your needs.

    Essential Components of a Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar

    Essential Components of a Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar

    Regular Reviews and Updates

    To ensure your plan compliance calendar remains accurate and up-to-date, establish a routine for reviewing and updating it:

    • Quarterly Check-Ins: Assess your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your calendar.

    • Annual Assessments: Conduct a thorough review of your retirement plan and make any necessary updates to your calendar.

    Retirement Savings Contribution Deadlines

    A key aspect of retirement planning is contributing to various retirement accounts. Be aware of the deadlines for making contributions to the following accounts:

    Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

    As you approach retirement, be prepared for the RMDs from your retirement accounts:

    • RMD Deadlines: Know when you must start taking RMDs and be aware of any annual deadlines.

    • RMD Calculations: Understand how to calculate the required amount for each RMD.

    Tax Implications and Reporting

    Tax Deadlines for Retirement Accounts

    Stay informed about tax deadlines related to retirement accounts, such as annual filing dates and deadlines for making contributions.

    Tax Forms to Be Filed

    Familiarize yourself with the tax forms associated with your retirement accounts, such as Form 1040, Form 8606, and Form 5498.

    Tax Implications of Retirement Plan Distributions

    Understand the tax implications of withdrawing money from your retirement accounts, including potential penalties and the impact on your overall tax liability.

    Coordination With Financial Professionals for Plan Compliance Calendar

    Consulting With a Financial Planner or Advisor

    Seek professional advice to ensure your retirement planning is on track and to help you make informed decisions about your plan compliance calendar.

    Engaging With Tax Professionals

    Work with a tax professional to ensure you are accurately reporting your retirement account activity and taking advantage of any available tax benefits.

    Regular Meetings to Ensure Plan Compliance

    Schedule regular meetings with your financial and tax professionals to review your plan compliance calendar and make any necessary adjustments.

    Additional Retirement Planning Milestones for Plan Compliance Calendar

    Evaluating Retirement Income Sources

    Assess all potential sources of retirement income, such as Social Security benefits, pensions, and personal savings.

    Planning for Social Security Benefits

    Understand when you will be eligible for Social Security benefits and how to maximize your benefit amount.

    Addressing Healthcare and Long-Term Care Costs

    Plan for the financial impact of healthcare and long-term care expenses in retirement, including Medicare, supplemental insurance, and long-term care insurance options.

    Monitoring Plan Compliance Calendar Progress

    Tracking Accomplishments and Adjustments

    Monitor your progress towards retirement planning goals by tracking accomplishments and making necessary adjustments to your plan compliance calendar.

    Celebrating Milestones

    Acknowledge and celebrate milestones along your retirement planning journey, such as achieving specific financial goals or reaching a target retirement savings balance.

    Adapting the Calendar to Life Changes and Goals

    Recognize that your retirement planning needs may evolve over time due to life changes, such as marriage, divorce, or changes in employment. Update your plan compliance calendar accordingly to reflect these changes and maintain alignment with your goals.

    Bottom Line

    A Plan Compliance Calendar ensures retirement plan compliance with deadlines and tasks to avoid penalties.

    It includes essential components like regular reviews, retirement savings contribution deadlines, RMDs, tax implications, and reporting.

    Retirement planning milestones include social security benefits, healthcare, and long-term care costs. It's important to track progress, celebrate milestones and adapt the calendar to life changes and goals.

    To create a plan compliance calendar, identify key dates and deadlines, and create a calendar format using physical, digital, or hybrid tools.

    Coordination with financial and tax professionals and regular meetings are important to ensure plan compliance. Quarterly check-ins and annual assessments are necessary for the calendar's accuracy and updating.

    Plan Compliance Calendar FAQs

    About the Author

    True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

    True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

    True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

    To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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