What You Need to Know
- Form 5500 serves as a disclosure document for plan participants and beneficiaries.
- Filing tips, notices, updates of filing requirements, and other helpful material is available on the IRS and DOL websites.
Who Must File
- Employee welfare benefit plans* that cover more than 100 employees at the beginning of the plan year.
- Any size plan that is funded.
Who is Exempt
- Employee welfare benefit plans that cover 100 or less employees at the beginning of the plan year and are unfunded.
Unfunded vs Funded Plans
- An unfunded plan pays benefits or insurance premiums directly from the general assets of the employer.
- A funded plan pays benefits or insurance premiums from a separate account or trust, established for this purpose.
- Plans that receive employee contributions are considered funded; however, if the employee contributions are associated with a cafeteria plan (under Code section 125) that plan may be treated as unfunded (as provided under DOL Technical Release 92-01) for purposes of the Form 5500 filing requirement.
What You Need to Do
All forms must be filed electronically via EFAST2.
- Determine whether an exemption applies.
- If no exemption applies, prepare and file Form 5500 with all required schedules by the annual deadline (see below).
- Request an extension to file Form 5500 (if needed) using Form 5588.
- Maintain copies of Form 5500, as well as all material used to complete it.
- Provide copies of Form 5500 to participants upon written request.
When Is It Due?
Penalty relief may be available under the voluntary correction program (DFVCP) before receiving written notification of the defect by the DOL.
- Form 5500 must be filed on or before the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends (July 31 for calendar-year plans).
- An automatic extension of up to 2 1/2 months (October 15th for a calendar-year plan) is available by filing Form 5588 on or before the original due date of Form 5500.
- The penalty for failing to file Form 5500 can range in the thousands of dollars.
- See the Health and Welfare Penalties Chart for the exact penalty amounts.
*Original Compliance Dashboard post contains links to other helpful resources available within the Dashboard itself. If you have questions, please consult your contact at Grace & Porta Benefits.
Material contained in ComplianceDashboard is a compilation of generally published information by the Department of Labor and other public agencies regulating employee benefit plans and employee benefit issues. It is not legal advice, and should not be construed as legal advice. If legal advice or other professional assistance is or may be required with regard to any issues referenced in this website, the services of a competent legal or tax professional should be immediately sought. The inclusion of links within the ComplianceDashboard website is for informational purposes only. ComplianceDashboard does not warrant the accuracy of information outside this website that is found as a result of following links contained herein, nor does the inclusion of those links herein constitute endorsement of the content of any other website. If you have questions regarding this disclaimer, please contact us at 877-328-7880.