It occurred to me after my last post, October 1 401(k) Safe Harbor deadline gets closer, that the White Rabbit could relate to ERISA.

The White Rabbit, of course, is the first character Alice meets up with in Lewis Carroll’s classic book, Alice in Wonderland. Since 1865 when the book was published, he’s hopped (pun intended) around the popular culture with such disparate people as the Jefferson Airplane, Stephen King, Walt Disney, Tim Burton, and even the British Royal Navy in naming a military trench-digging machine developed  at the beginning of World War II (later changed to Code Name Cultivator No. 6).

And from an ERISA standpoint with all its deadlines, doesn’t his opening line simply resonate,

Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!

But the goal, of course, is not to be late and to meet compliance requirements in a timely manner. Here are some of the upcoming deadlines for 401(k) and profit sharing:

  • October 1 previously mentioned to set up a new 401(k) plan
  • October 15 to file Form 5500 for calendar year plans on extension
  • November 1 to terminate SIMPLEs for 2018
  • December 1 for Safe Harbor notices
  • December 31 to set up a new non-Safe Harbor plan for 2017

How can you avoid the White Rabbit being part of your ERISA compliance?  It starts with being organized and following established protocols and procedures. Here’s a resource for you to consider: Atul Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right.

Image: Sir John Tenniel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons