Form 5500 Update

HR Resource
November 16, 2012 — 1,660 views  
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Form 5500 Update

All businesses that provide their employees' health and welfare benefits packages are required to report information about those benefit plans annually. This information is filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). They are submitted through a joint electronic system which then processes the information. The main form used for filing this information is the Form 5500, which is the Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan. Another form that can be included in the filing package is Form 5558, which is the Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns. Both of these forms have been updated this year.

The Form 5500 has been updated to require the electronic signatures of the plan administrator or the authorized designee of the plan administrator for filing. Forms that are submitted without electronic signatures will be considered "incomplete" and will not be processed. Since the form will be considered to be unfiled, the submitter will have the threat of late penalties hanging over their heads. Those organizations that sponsor one-participant plans now have the option of filing the hard copy Form 5500-EZ with the IRS or electronically filing the Form 5500-SF with the DOL.

Any plan years prior to 2009 must be submitted on the new 2011 forms as of 2012. However, there are several exceptions to this rule. Actuarial information submitted on Schedules B, SB, or MB can be filed on the older version. Schedule C can be filed on either the earlier version or the current version. Schedule E, which reports Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP) Annual Information, can be submitted on the older version. The Annual Return of Fiduciary of Employee Benefit Trust, Schedule P, is another exception to the change. Schedules R and T, Retirement Plan Information and Qualified Pension Plan Coverage Information, respectively, are the final exceptions.

In previous years, PBGC premium payments were reported either Line 2(i)(4) or Line 2l. With the update, starting with 2011 submittals, the premium payment information must be reported only on Line 2(i)(4). Only one plan can be extended per Form 5558. This means that the larger companies will need to start early in the year to get their paperwork together if they intend to meet the submittal deadline of July 31. Smaller companies will have some more time to meet the deadline.

 

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