The Internal Revenue Service has released a new set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the requirement to provide notice to participants in pension, 401(k), 403(b), and other retirement plans who have terminated employment with the plan sponsor, but who have vested plan benefits that are payable in a future year. The “terminated vested” participant notice is associated with the new Form 8955-SSA, which the IRS has announced will replace the old Schedule SSA for 2009 and later plan years.

Note that the deadline for filing the 2009 and 2010 Forms 8955-SSA and furnishing the related notices to terminated vested participants is January 17, 2012, for calendar year plans or, if later, the last day of the seventh month following the plan year, plus extensions.

The FAQs indicate that the notice requirement will be satisfied if the terminated vested participants listed on the Form 8955-SSA have been provided statements or other documentation that include the following information:

  • The name of the plan
  • The name and address of the plan administrator
  • The name of the participant
  • The nature, amount, and form of the deferred vested benefit to which such participant is entitled

In addition, the FAQs provide that the plan administrator does not have to include certain information that must be reported on the Form 8955-SSA, including:

  • Participant’s Social Security number
  • The codes on page 2 of the Form 8955-SSA used to identify previously reported participants
  • Information regarding any benefits that are nonforfeitable if the participant dies before a certain date

Plan administrators should review the materials previously distributed to terminated vested participants for the 2009 and 2010 plan years to confirm whether a separate notice should be provided to the affected participants by the January 17, 2012, deadline for calendar year plans.

If you have any questions about the terminated vested participant notice requirements or your organization’s compliance with the new Form 8955-SSA, please contact Brian M. Pinheiro at 215.864.8511 or


Copyright © 2012 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
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