DOL Denies Request for Form 5500 Filing Extension
An official at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has informed the Council that the agency will not grant an automatic extension of the Form 5500 deadline for the 2009 plan year. As we reported in the July 14 Benefits Byte, the Council sent a letter to senior officials at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting an extension until the later of December 31, 2010 or nine and a half months after the end of the plan year.
A formal response from DOL is forthcoming, but the agency official indicated that a key reason for the denial is because 2010 is the first year of the EFAST2 program (in which electronic filing is required), which was initiated in January 2010 and is designed to certain specifications that did not include automatic extensions of filing deadlines. The official added that there is already an extension procedure in place using Form 5558. The plan fiduciary’s signature is no longer required on the 5558, so service providers can process requests for their clients, and extension is automatic when requested.
The Council is gathering information on the EFAST2 program and welcomes specific examples of problems members may have experienced. To provide input or for more information, contact Jan Jacobson, senior counsel, retirement policy, at (202) 289-6700.