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Every year we perform a comprehensive review of your retirement plan to keep you worry free.


When handling your retirement plan, compliance is our highest priority. Follow our online guided process on PlanSponsorLink and you won't miss a thing.
Your plan consultant and our Care Team have your back.


2 Part Process


Compliance Guidebook

An easy to read guide providing us information to prepare your signature-ready IRS tax filing.

employee census

A comprehensive reporting of employee data used to determine key metrics for compliance.


report all employees

Report all employees that received pay at any time during the plan year regardless of their current employment status.



Admittedly, there are some unusual terms in our employee census. Look up key definitions using our 401(k) Glossary

verify with Payroll

Total compensation and total 401(k) deferral fields should balance to your year-end payroll reports. 


Add remarks

Use the remarks field to let us know about anything special (such as a change in an employee's name). 

Review compensation

Compensation generally includes wages and other payments reported on a Form W-2,
K-1, or Schedule C. 


Meet the deadline

Complete and return all information requested via Secure File Share or your Client Portal by January 31st or 30 days after plan year end.

Census FAQ

Q1. What is the Annual Employee Census and why do you need it?

The Annual Employee Census is a comprehensive reporting of employee data such as:

  • employee name
  • social security number
  • date of birth
  • date of hire
  • date of termination
  • date of rehire
  • hours of service
  • gross compensation
  • deferrals

Once per year we collect this information from you to make sure your 401(k) is operating in compliance with certain laws established by the IRS and Department of Labor.

Q2. Why is the Annual Employee Census required every year?

The IRS and Department of Labor require a new tax filing (Form 5500) each year for every 401(k). The Annual Employee Census provides us information needed to prepare your signature-ready forms.

Q3. When is the deadline for returning our Annual Employee Census?

The deadline to return your completed census information to Inde is January 31st, or 30 days after your plan year end if your plan year end is different from December 31st.

It is important that we receive this information by the deadline so that we can begin our comprehensive compliance review.

Q4. Which employees do I include in the Annual Employee Census?

Any employee receiving a W-2, or any partner or shareholder receiving a K-1 or Schedule C is required to be reported on the census, including:

  • Terminated employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Seasonal employees
  • Non-deferring employees

Tip: Compare the total compensation, employee contributions, and employer contributions fields to your payroll reports. If there are no discrepancies than you know you've included everyone.

Q5. Why do I include employees that don't qualify to be in our plan (i.e., part-time employees)?

Part-time, non-deferring, and/or non-eligible employees are needed in order for us to perform our comprehensive compliance review. We are also required to report a total head count on your tax filing.

In our experience, by asking for all employees, we are also better able to assist you in avoiding compliance errors.

Q6. What is considered gross compensation?

Gross compensation generally includes wages and other payments reported on an employee's Form W-2. Gross compensation also includes 401(k), HSA, and 124 cafeteria plan deferrals.

For sole proprietors, gross compensation is net Schedule C income.

For partners and shareholders, gross compensation is K-1 income.

Q7. What other information should I send Inde with the Annual Employee Census?

In addition the Annual Employee Census, we also ask you to return your Annual Compliance Guidebook. Your Annual Compliance Guidebook has additional information used to prepare your signature-ready tax forms.

Q8. Do I have to use your Annual Employee Census template?

No, we do not require that you use our specific template. If it is easier to pull the required census data from your Payroll system or Record-keeping system, please do so. If you decide not to use our template, please verify your report has all the information we require.

Q9. Do you have any tips for making sure I complete the Annual Employee Census correctly?

  • Make sure you have entered the required information for every employee (e.g., social security number, compensation, hours of service)

  • Check the totals section in your Annual Employee Census against your payroll reports or Form W-3 to make sure they match.

  • Use the Remarks field to let us know about anything special (such as a change in last name).

  • Complete and return all the information requested.

Compliance Toolkit





Compliance Deadlines

IRS 401(k) limits


Your employees can contribute as much (or as little) as they want, up to these limits.
For more information, see IRS 401(k) Contribution Limits.

Table Style
401(k) LIMITS 2019 2018 2017
401(k) Elective Deferral Limit $ 19,000 $ 18,500 $ 18,000
Catch-up Contribution Limit $ 6,000 $ 6,000 $ 6,000
Annual Combined Contribution Limit $ 56,000 $ 55,000 $ 54,000
Annual Compensation Limit $ 280,000 $ 275,000 $ 270,000
Highly Compensated Employees $ 125,000 $ 120,000 $ 120,000
Table Style
Non 401(k) Limits 2019 2018 2017
403(b)/457 Elective Deferral $ 19,000 $ 18,500 $ 18,000
SIMPLE Employee Deferrals $ 13,000 $ 12,500 $ 12,500
SIMPLE Catch-up Deferral $ 3,000 $ 3,000 $ 3,000
SEP Minimum Compensation $ 600 $ 600 $ 600
SEP Annual Compensation Limit $ 280,000 $ 275,000 $ 270,500
Social Security Wage Base $ 132,900 $ 128,400 $ 127,200