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
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.