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February 16, 2009

Summary Description

Your Guide



Document that must be provided each year, by a SIMPLE IRA trustee/custodian (financial institution), to the employer, containing the following information:


Document that must be provided each year, by a SIMPLE IRA trustee/custodian (financial institution), to the employer, containing the following information:

  • The name and address of the employer and the trustee.
  • The requirements for eligibility for participation.
  • The benefits provided with respect to the arrangement.
  • The time and method of making employee elections with respect to the arrangement.
  • The procedures for, and effects of, withdrawals (including rollovers) from the arrangement

Referring Cite

Notice 98-4

Additional Helpful Information

  • The summary description requirement may be satisfied by providing a completed copy of pages 1 and 2 of
    the form that reflects the terms of the employer’s plan (including the materials provided by the trustee for completion of Article VI
  • Each trustee must provide the summary description to the employer early enough to allow the employer to meet its notification obligation under the 60-day election period notification requirements. However, a trustee is not required to provide the summary description prior to agreeing to be a trustee of a SIMPLE IRA under the SIMPLE IRA Plan
  • Each trustee that fails to provide the employer with one or more summary descriptions incurs a $50 penalty, under section 6693(c) of the Code, for each day the failures continue, unless the trustee shows that the failures are due to reasonable cause.
  • In the case of a SIMPLE IRA Plan established using Form 5304-SIMPLE (Not Subject to the Designated Financial Institution Rules) or Form 5305-SIMPLE (for Use With a Designated Financial Institution), a trustee may satisfy this obligation by providing an employer (and/or the employee in the case of Form 5304-SIMPLE) with a current copy of Form 5304-SIMPLE or Form 5305-SIMPLE, the instructions, the information required for completion of
  • Article VI, and the name and address of the financial institution. The trustee should provide guidance to the employer (and the employee, if Form 5304-SIMPLE is provided directly to the employee) concerning the need for the employer to complete the first two pages of Form 5304-SIMPLE or Form 5305-SIMPLE in accordance with its plan’s terms and to distribute completed copies to eligible employees.

Written By

Denise Appleby

Denise is CEO of Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc., a firm that provides IRA resources for financial/ tax/legal professionals. She has over 20 years of experience in the retirement plans field, which includes training and technical consultation.

Denise writes and publishes educational /marketing tools for advisors; available at Denise co-authored several books on IRAs

Denise is a graduate of The John Marshall Law School, where she obtained a Masters of Jurisprudence in Employee Benefits, and has earned 5 professional retirement designations.
She has appeared on numerous media programs, sharing her insights on retirement tax laws.


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