Form 5500: Its Changes and Implications

Filing the Form 5500 is a regulatory requirement imposed by the government among benefit plan sponsors, who are mandated to do so.

It is through this form that the government monitors benefit plans and pension operations and investments, since it is in their interest to protect the welfare of the American people.

As a concerted effort among Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the Department of Treasury’s IRS, and the Department of Labor (DOL), the rule on filing the Form 5500 had been enforced. Since then, companies with welfare plan and 401(k) retirement plan must comply with this annually.

But the current form does not seem to be informative enough. This year, a proposal has been made to improve the Form 5500 reporting. This is to assist in the update of the current plan st

Since the announcement of the proposed changes, the government opened its communication lines and accepted comments from plan sponsors. Information on Form 5500 revisions is already being disseminated by government agencies for a successful implementation of the new form in 2019.

What are the changes to expect?

The proposal is bound to make valuable changes in the governance of benefit plans, as well as in the lives of individuals and employers. It is expected to benefit compliance with certain laws, provide a more comprehensive financial report, and cover a broader span of companies mandated to comply with Form 5500 reporting.

One of the salient features of the proposal is the addition of Schedule J. This requires employers to provide more detailed information on their benefit health plan packages and ensure compliance with the laws focused on protecting the rights and access of individuals to healthcare and welfare benefits. Those laws are the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Affordable Care Act, and Michelle’s Law, among others.

Another key feature of the new form is the addition of companies with welfare plans, which cover less than 100 employees, required to comply with the reporting. This aims for a wider coverage and greater transparency in the framework of group benefit plans among all plan sponsors.

What do the changes imply?

This is most advantageous for the companies that sponsor the benefit plans and the government. Their access to a large database of consumer information will help them improve the policies and plans that only aim to protect its beneficiaries.

Another advantage is for the individuals whose rights and interests are the highlight of the proposed changes. There will be extensive inquiries on the companies’ compliance with state rules on healthcare and retirement. Therefore, employers will be encouraged to offer benefit plans that are both compliant and competitive.

The disadvantages, on the other hand, are overwhelming. First, the cost of filing the Form 5500 is expected to increase approximately 5,500% more (in aggregate). This is because those companies that were previously exempted from filing will bring the numbers expected to comply from only a few thousands to 2 million.

Second, the processing, although electronic, will take more time. There will be more details required from plan sponsors such as questions on their full compliance with certain state laws and disclosure requirements.

The most apparent implication is that the change presents the government’s continued commitment to support the welfare and healthcare of its people. This is promising for most Americans that will need greater welfare benefits, health protection, and better healthcare services in the future.

The higher standards of compliance that will be enforced on more companies raise the standards of providing benefit plans in the U.S. as well. Although the reporting might pose some inefficiencies or inconveniences from the employers’ end, the consequence of non compliance is more costly. Failure to file Form 5500 on time is a fine of $2,063 daily. All these are great incentives that benefit compliance.

The healthcare reform that gave birth into improving the form 5500 aims only to reinforce the rights and give importance to health and welfare of individuals. While the changes are still in its early stages, it’s worth it to know about what the changes are and what they imply. Before the change reach its full shape, individuals and employers alike should take an active role in forming the reporting standards that will ultimately change America’s health care system.

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Comparing Forms 10-K and 5500: How Do They Differ?

Comparing Forms 10-K and 5500: How Do They Differ?

The benefit plans provided by companies and firms are regulated by the government. The government does this by assigning some of its agencies to specifically monitor pension fund performance. For public pensions, two forms are studied by the government: form 10-K and form 5500. Let us compare these two data sources and find out what distinguishes one from the other.

US benefit consulting groupThe element that these two forms have in common is that both are required by the government to be submitted annually for the purpose of assessing the performance of a company when it comes to providing employee benefits and keeping the rights of their employees protected.

Form 10-K is a report made annually to the US Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC. This report must be filed 90 days after the fiscal year ends. The nature of the report will depend on how big the company is and how long the company has been public. This form details the financial situation of a company. It also includes information about the business’s current condition. The form includes financial statements that have gone through auditing by a third party accounting firm. This form is not similar to the report given to shareholders in the form of a booklet whenever they meet to choose new directors.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission requires that disclosure sections need to be included in the form 10-K. Usually, this form can include some, if not all, the following elements:

  • Financial data. A financial summary detailing data over the past five years must be included in the form. This provides an overview of the financial performance of the firm. Pension obligations is not necessarily included in this part.
  • Results of Operations and Analysis of Financial Condition. This section can include any of the following:
    • Accounting for pensions
    • Net pension liabilities
    • Pension plan cash contributions
    • Unfunded pension obligations

If you need more information regarding pension obligations, the footnotes contained in Form 10-K may provide the information you need. When it comes to welfare plans and pension, the following information may be available in the form:

  • Benefit obligations
  • Pension funding requirements
  • Pension plan asset return rates
  • Return of assets
  • Trends in health care cost

On the other hand, form 5500 is a report also made annually to the Department of Labor, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

After all of the required information has been attached to the form, the total you will submit can amount to tens of pages’ worth of documents. The form 5500 includes the following:

  • Financial information
  • Insurance information
  • Participating plan information
  • Retirement plan information
  • Service provider information
  • Single employer defined benefit plan information

The filing of this form can easily be started by checking of the website of the Department of Labor.

The difference between these two is that Form 10-K provides projections for the future, whereas form 5500 only focuses on the present. Therefore, the information provided in 10-K is significantly bigger, from the reports on pension obligation to the number of requirements to be submitted.

Form 5500 provides more information since it includes present-dated information that is not really shown in form 10-K, such as the present liability amount.

If you are wondering how to reconcile the information in these two forms, the answer is you don’t. The information provided by these two forms naturally differ because they do not serve the same function, and they do not focus at the same time frame. The government requires firms to submit different forms that are designed to provide different points of view to those who are going to be checking them, so thinking that these two forms should be the same would be wrong.

It is important to understand what each of these two forms do and which agencies look at the information. These forms are checked in order to ensure quality in benefit planning and in upholding employee rights.


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Compliance Issues: What to Consider When Updating Benefit Plans

Benefits Compliance: What a company should consider when it decides to update its benefit plans?

The government annually checks whether companies and firms remain compliant with the law when it comes to how they implement their insurance policies. Agencies such as the IRS require employees and firms to submit forms that prove compliance with government guidelines. This is done not only to keep standards, but also to ensure that employee benefits are given proper attention and care.

With changes in guidelines every year, it can easily be assumed that your firm should reshape its benefit plan in order to meet those guidelines. Therefore, whether you are going to be designing a new benefit plan for a new plan year, or if you are simply going to be updating an existing plan you have, you need to know the factors that your firm must consider in order to make your benefits compliance easy. The Affordable Care Act includes specific requirements that must be met before the government deems your plan compliant with the law. Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind.

  • Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rules. The changes in the entitlement to overtime compensation can affect the benefits that an employee can receive. Therefore, as part of your benefits compliance agenda, you must ensure that your firm is ready to keep the staffing costs neutral in consideration of the changes you will make regarding the benefits your employees receive.
  • HIPAA security and electronic transactions. Double check whether you need to make any upgrades on how you safeguard the personal health information of your employees by checking the latest requirements set under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act guidelines. Ensure that the vendors you coordinate with are also following the guidelines imposed by HIPAA and other related government agencies.
  • Mental health. As part of the benefits compliance process, the Department of Labor will also be checking if you comply with the requirements for mental health benefits. Your firm needs to confirm that the plan you offer meets the guidance on substance use disorders and mental health benefit coverage. When you are selecting vendors, ensure that you consider their compliance with the Addiction Equity Act and the Mental Health Parity.
  • Nondiscrimination rules and health benefits. The size of the benefits you provide your workers are monitored by government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services. Federal agencies continue to issue regulations which will greatly affect how you design your benefit programs. With the ACA in place, you need to make sure that your plan includes all the required health benefits prescribed by the ACA, and that it has nondiscrimination rules in place as well.
  • Strategy and reporting. You also need to double check the design of your health plan and the requirements you impose that your employees will need to comply to. Your firm must check whether the medical coverage and options you provide meet the minimum necessity. You should also check whether the price of your health benefits match standards for affordability. Make the necessary adjustments for your firm to be compliant with the ACA.
  • Wellness programs. To ensure benefits compliance, if your wellness program includes biometric screening, health risk assessment, or collects information from the employee’s spouse, you need to make sure that your program meets the regulations set up by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Your program also needs to be compliant with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. You should speak to vendors to ensure that your wellness program meets the expectations of the law.

Read more about what benefits are subject to ERISA.

The earlier you start planning your benefit plan, the better it would be. Effective planning is key in passing checks and audits made by government agencies. Compliance will, aside from keeping your firm’s reputation, attract more employees and will generally improve business. Companies that offer good benefit packages are sought after by applicants due to the high costs of insurance policies, medical treatments, and medicines.


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Back To the Basics: Form 5500

Form 5500: The Basics

One of the most important government forms you need to complete to secure your retirement plan is form 5500. If you work for a company that offers either a retirement plan or a 401 (k) plan, you should be annually completing the form since the plan began to be implemented. Every year, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Department of labor, and the IRS check if your company is still able to protect you, and whether your plan continues to be compliant with the set regulations.

The form is always heavily scrutinized by many individuals and government offices, so knowing what it does, what it contains, and when to file it is of extreme importance.

What is Form 5500?

If you work for a firm that offers a tax qualified retirement plan such as the 401(k) or something similar, during the time you worked for that firm, you should have been filing form 5500 every year since your business started adopting the plan.

The form looks almost the same as other forms issued by the IRS; the only difference being this form is not just held by the IRS, but also by other government bodies such as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the Department of labor. Each of these agencies have their own set goals when they look at your form, but ultimately, what they are trying to ensure is that your plan is being operated for your benefit and that it is being correctly processed every year.

  • The IRS uses the information on your form to determine your tax compliance. The IRS is the agency responsible for the regulations that allow tax benefits and retirement plans to be implemented to both workers and employers.
  • The Department of labor uses the information on your form to ensure that the plan your company is using is not breaking any rules. It is also used to make sure that the company keeps your rights protected and secure. The DOL monitors how the company operates the plan.
  • The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation monitors what is written on your form to determine whether the firm you work for is compliant in providing you with the benefits you ought to receive, regardless if the firm has moved on to using a new plan.

In summary, the 5500 form is used not only for law enforcement, but also for analysis. The government checks how many businesses offer retirement plans, whether workers are recipients of any type of benefit, how many large and small plans are available to people at a given time, and what new regulations may be enforced in order to improve the present situation.

What are “small” and “large” plans?

Plans that are assessed in your form are categorized as being either “large” or “small”.

If the plan had less than one hundred members on its first day of implementation, the plan is considered to be a “small” plan. Those that exceed that number are called “large” plans. It is those firms that have large plans that need to file the 5500 every year, while firms with small plans only have to complete a simpler form called the form 5500-SF.

A plan can continue to be considered small if the number of participants does not exceed 120 at the start of the new plan year. Every participant regardless of whether they are active or not are considered in the head count.

When should it be filed?

The form 5500 should be filed after the end of the plan year, on the last day of the seventh month. If you need more time, you need to file form 5558, which can extend the deadline for another two and a half months.

The form is never the same every year, and there are always changes introduced in order to ensure that it matches the needs of firms and workers today. Every year, the IRS imposes new changes to the form, and the IRS simply sends instructions to firms on what has been updated on the form.


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An Understanding of Form 5500 Company Search- A Synopsis

The basics of Form 5500 company search and its place in your business is sometimes overlooked.

The Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit and Guaranty Corporation and Internal Revenue service in cooperation developed Form 5500 Series. This form could be used by the Employee Benefit Plans to satisfy the yearly reporting necessity under ERISA’s Title I and IV and under the Internal Revenue Code. This form is a significant compliance, disclosure and research tool for the Department of the Labor, source of information as well as a disclosure file for beneficiaries and plan participants and information utilized by other Federal Agencies.


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What is Form 5500 Series?

The form 5500 series is an overall reporting and disclosure system of Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) that is designed to guarantee that employees benefits are managed and operated in accordance with particular prescribed standards and the beneficiaries, participants and regulators are provided or have free access to right information in order to protect the benefits and rights of beneficiaries and participants under employee benefits plan.

Purpose of Form 5500

The main purpose of Form 5500 is the yearly reporting for particular welfare and pension benefit plans and it contains all information about an investment, operations, and financial condition’s plan. This form is co-sponsored by IRS, DOL and Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation.

What about PBGC or IRS?

As we’ve mentioned above that the Form 5500 was made by PBGC, IRS and DOL together. The form filed with the DOL will accomplish the requirements of IRS to file a yearly information return. All the plans under PBGC defined benefit plans and can have extra filling needs with the PBGC.

Who can fill Form 5500 series?

All companies with 401 (k) plan or pension plan must file the annual report with the Internet Revenue Service, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and the Department of Labor. Companies that have more than 100 employees and also offer health plans must file Form 5500 welfare schedule.

In numerous cases, there are many things to do and little time to execute that. Accomplishing all your needs related to form 5500 company search in a particular area. As the rule and regulations keep on changing, completing the important documentation in a precise way and on time has become quite difficult to manage. For many companies, taking the whole process off and knowing it will be managed and handled properly is a big relief. It enables companies to use existing internal resources for other important projects.

What is in Form 550 Company Search?

The form 5500 has a main form with different attachments and schedules. Normally, this form must represent the operations and the characteristics of the plan. The major part of the Form 5500 consists of two long pages and information requests of the plan such as date, name, plan administrator information, plan sponsor information, and a breakout of participants involved at the actual end of the financial year.

Review of Quality Assurance

Reviewing Form 5500 filings for completion and accuracy is not as easy as it seems. Perhaps, small details make a huge difference. After filling the forms, these are reviewed to make sure that it reflects the welfare plan, funding arrangements and offering of the sponsor appropriately. The content of the forms will also be reviewed to verify if the filing is completed with DOL guidelines and instructions.

Welfare Plan Form 5500 Preparation

In form 5500 preparation, you can’t fill the form with guesswork. The preparing process of form 5500 filing starts by identifying for the actual plan sponsor for all sort of important and crucial information related to the benefit of the plan as well as of funding arrangements of what data may be needed from other parties. The second step is to complete the filling with all needed schedules and has the review of the client along with approval of hard copy. There is a simple process of preparing electronic returns facilitating with submitting forms and electronic signature and submitting forms by using a right and approved software. After the approval of the form, it will be submitted to the DOL for processing. If in case, the filling needed extra action or DOL does not approve the request, the company carried out the important research and resolves the matter as soon as possible.

It is important for companies to file electronically within seven months from the actual end of the plan year. You can use Form 5500 version that reflects the starting date of the particular plan.


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Healthcare Reform To Make America Great Again

Any reform effort should start with Congress. Since Obamacare became law, conservative Republicans have been using reforms that can be provided individually or as part of more thorough reform efforts. In the staying sections of this policy paper, several reforms will be used that need to be thought about by Congress so that on the first day of the Trump Administration, we can start the process of bring back faith in government and economic liberty to individuals.

It is not adequate to merely reverse this dreadful legislation. We will deal with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms all set for implementation that follow totally free market concepts which will bring back economic flexibility and certainty to everybody in this nation. By following free enterprise concepts and working together to develop sound public policy that will widen healthcare access, make healthcare more budget-friendly and enhance the quality of the care available to all Americans.

However none of these positive reforms can be achieved without Obamacare repeal. On the first day of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately provide a full repeal of Obamacare.

healthcare reform and compliance benefitsGiven that March of 2010, the American individuals have actually had to suffer under the unbelievable economic concern of the Affordable Care Act— Obamacare. As it appears Obamacare is particular to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed totally free market reforms to the health care market.

Congress must act. Our chosen representatives in the House and Senate should:

We require to reform our psychological health programs and organizations in this country. Families, without the ability to obtain the info had to help those who are ailing, are frequently not provided the tools to assist their enjoyed ones. There are guaranteeing reforms being established in Congress that needs to receive bi-partisan support.

To reduce the number of people needing access to programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program we will have to set up programs that grow the economy and bring capital and tasks back to America. The best social program has constantly been a task– and looking after our economy will go a long way to decreasing our reliance on public health programs.

To reform healthcare in America, we need a President who has the leadership abilities, will and courage to engage the American people and encourage Congress to do what is best for the nation. These straightforward reforms, together with many others I have actually proposed throughout my project, will make sure that together we will Make America Great Again.

Entirely repeal Obamacare. Our elected agents must remove the specific mandate. No person must be needed to purchase insurance coverage unless she or he wishes to.
Modify existing law that hinders the sale of medical insurance across state lines. As long as the strategy bought adhere to state requirements, any supplier should be able to offer insurance in any state. By enabling full competitors in this market, insurance expenses will decrease and consumer complete satisfaction will increase.
Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress permit individuals the same exemptions? We should examine fundamental choices for Medicaid and work with states to make sure that those who desire healthcare coverage can have it.

Enable people to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs must be tax-free and ought to be enabled to collect. These accounts would end up being part of the estate of the individual and might be handed down to beneficiaries without fear of any capital punishment. These plans should be especially attractive to young individuals who are healthy and can manage high-deductible insurance strategies. These funds can be used by any member of a household without penalty. The versatility and security offered by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.

Require rate transparency from all doctor, especially medical professionals and healthcare companies like centers and healthcare facilities. People should be able to shop to find the finest rates for procedures, tests or any other medical-related procedure.

Almost every state currently offers advantages beyond what is required in the present Medicaid structure. The state federal governments know their individuals best and can handle the administration of Medicaid far much better without federal overhead.

Remove barriers to entry into complimentary markets for drug service providers that offer safe, reputable and cheaper items. Congress will require the courage to step away from the special interests and do exactly what is right for America.

The reforms detailed above will reduce healthcare expenses for all Americans. They are just a place to begin. There are other reforms that may be considered if they serve to reduce expenses, remove uncertainty and offer financial security for all Americans. And we must also do something about it in other policy locations to lower health care expenses and concerns. Implementing immigration laws, getting rid of scams and waste and stimulating our economy will ease the economic pressures felt by every American. It is the moral obligation of a country’s government to do exactly what is best for the individuals and exactly what is in the interest of protecting the future of the nation.

Offering health care to prohibited immigrants costs us some $11 billion every year. We could eliminate healthcare expense pressures on state and regional governments if we were to merely impose the present immigration laws and limit the unchecked giving of visas to this nation.

Benefits Compliance Consultants is a leader in healthcare compliance for your large or small business.

With our exclusive ERISAlliance Network, Benefits Compliance Consultants, Inc. has established relationships with leading ERISA and employee benefits experts so that you can have complete confidence that all of your ERISA compliance needs will be taken care of accurately and cost effectively while giving you unsurpassed personal service and attention as your benefits consultant.

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Proposed Regs Would Require Electronic Filing Of Form For Annual Health Insurer Fee

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Preamble to Prop Reg12/08/2016, Prop Reg § 57.3, Prop Reg § 57.10

IRS has issued proposed regs that would require covered entities engaged in the business of providing health insurance for U.S. health risks and reporting more than $25 million in net premiums written to electronically file Form 8963, “Report of Health Insurance Provider Information” for purposes of the annual health insurer fee.

Effective for calendar years beginning after Dec. 31, 2013, an annual fee is imposed on a covered entity– with some exceptions, any entity engaged in the business of providing health insurance with respect to U.S. health risks. The fee is a fixed amount allocated among all covered entities in proportion to their relative market share as determined by each entity’s net premiums written for the data year, which is the year immediately preceding the year in which the fee is paid. 1406 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCERA, P.L. 111-152)– collectively, the Affordable Care Act).

The 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 114-113, 12/18/2015) provided a one-year suspension of the annual fee on health insurance providers for 2017; the effective date of the annual fee was amended so that it applies to calendar years: (1) beginning after Dec. 31, 2013 and ending before Jan. 1, 2017; and (2) beginning after Dec. 31, 2017.

9010( b)( 3) requires IRS to calculate the amount of each covered entity’s fee on a calendar year basis. 9010( g)( 1) requires that each covered entity must report to IRS the covered entity’s net premiums written for health insurance for any U.S. health risk for the preceding calendar year by the prescribed date. The reporting requirement applies regardless of whether a covered entity will be liable for a fee.

The information is reported to IRS on Form 8963, which must be filed by April 15 of the year following the calendar year for which data is being reported. Neither the statute nor the regs currently specify whether Form 8963 must be submitted electronically or on paper. Covered entities currently have the option of filing the form in either manner.

9010( g)( 2) imposes a penalty on a covered entity for any failure to report the required information by the date prescribed by IRS (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing), unless such failure is due to reasonable cause. 9010( g)( 3) imposes an accuracy-related penalty for understating the covered entity’s net premiums written for health insurance for any U.S. health risk for any calendar year.

Reg. § 57.5 requires IRS to send each covered entity notice of a preliminary fee calculation for that fee year (the calendar year in which the fee must be paid, beginning with 2014). Notice 2013-76, 2013-51 IRB 769, provides that IRS will mail each covered entity its notice of preliminary fee calculation by June 15 of each fee year.

§ 57.6 requires that a covered entity correct any errors identified after receiving the preliminary fee calculation by filing a corrected Form 8963. The covered entity remains liable for any failure to report penalty if it failed to timely submit the original Form 8963. § 57.7( b), IRS must send each covered entity its final fee calculation no later than August 31.

The covered entity must pay the fee by September 30 of the fee year, as provided by Sec. The fee must be paid by electronic funds transfer. § 57.7( d), Reg.

Proposed regs. Prop Reg § 57.3( a)( 2) would provide that a covered entity (including a controlled group) reporting more than $25 million in net premiums written on a Form 8963 or corrected Form 8963 must electronically file these forms after Dec. 31, 2017.

This is because a covered entity (including a controlled group) reporting no more than $25 million in net premiums written isn’t liable for a fee and so the time constraints applicable to computation of the fee aren’t applicable with respect to these entities. (Reg.

The proposed regs would also provide that if a Form 8963 or corrected Form 8963 was required to be filed electronically, any subsequently filed Form 8963 filed for the same fee year would also have to be filed electronically, even if the subsequently filed Form 8963 reports $25 million or less in net premiums written.

In addition, the proposed regs provide that failure to electronically file will be treated as a failure to file for purposes of Reg. § 57.3( b). (Prop Reg § 57.3( a)( 2)( ii)).

IRS has determined that electronic reporting is appropriate because there is a short window of time for (1) IRS to compile and analyze the reported information and send out preliminary letters, (2) covered entities to respond with any corrections, (3) IRS to compile and analyze the amended reporting and issue final fee letters, and (4) covered entities to pay the fee.

Proposed effective/applicability date. The proposed regs are proposed to apply to any covered entity reporting more than $25 million in net premiums written on any Form 8963 filed after Dec. 31, 2017. (Prop Reg § 57.10( c)).

References: For the annual fee on health insurance providers, see FTC 2d/FIN ¶ 5641 et seq.

Form 5500 Series for 2016 Plan Year Released by DOL

Benefits Compliance Consultannts Inc. was built up and is overseen by an informed and hard-working compliance expert Iris Thill. In the course of recent years, it has turned out to be progressively clear that there is a developing requirement for a gathering of committed tax experts to help businesses with benefits consulting and compliance issues.

Form 5500 Series for 2016 Plan Year Released by DOL

The DOL has officially published Form 5500 for its 2016 Plan Year. The released Form 5500 series includes Form 5500-SF, Instructions, and Schedules; and these advance information copies can so far not be filed, except in rare circumstances. Nonetheless, electronic filing of Form 5500 is still mandatory. Even though few changes have been introduced in the Schedules; Form 5500, including its main body, remains unchanged. Besides, the Instructions, along with separate IRS Guidance, calls for the skipping of IRS Compliance Questions, and also allows filers to omit the requested preparer information. Even so, the Instructions note that the maximum penalty associated with Form 5500 failures have been increased to $2,063 per day from the previous penalty of $1,100 per day. There are also changes made to matters relating to 401(k) plan and welfare filings. These changes have been summarized below:

1. Schedule A focuses entirely on insurance information. In line with this, it has excluded information pertaining to both Part III (which deals with information pertaining to Welfare Benefit Contract) and Part IV (which governs Provision of Information). Even so, Schedule A has still managed to cover the insurance facets which are related to Part III and Part IV. According to EBIA, this may have been brought about by oversight issues, and it is more likely than not to be remedied. EBIA also noted that it is still possible to know if these sections have also been omitted in EFAST2, which is the Schedule A version that is filed electronically.

2. Schedules H and I: These are related schedules. Schedule H pertains to Financial Information, while Schedule I pertains to Financial Information-Small Plan. In both Schedules, questions 4o and 4p have been removed. Questions 4o focused on taxable income derived from sources unrelated to business, and question 4p dealt with in-service distributions for each plan year. Question 4o has been substituted with a clearly defined question that focuses on the benefit plan. Even so, both schedules have instructed filers to skip lines that request trust information.

3. Schedule R, which deals with Retirement Plan Information, has instructed filers to skip IRS Compliance Questions that appear in Part VII. Likewise, these questions have also been altered following the removal of lines covering plan amendments, ADP/ACP testing, and tax law changes. According to EBIA, these deletions reflect changes that are to be made in determination letter program.

According to a commentary provided by EBIA, DOL has decided to minimize the number of changes, as it prepares to introduce significant (key) changes and modifications to ERISA Form 5500. These major changes are expected to take effect in 2019 Plan Year, and filers are expected to understand and comply with them. Meanwhile, filers are now expected to file complete Form 5500s in time, and also ensure that the information contained therein is accurate and up-to-date. This is one of the reason for increasing the maximum penalty. It is also expected that when significant changes have been made, the potential maximum penalties are likely to be increased so as to achieve compliance. More information about these matters can be obtained from previous posts published by EBIA, especially those related to ERISA compliance, 401(k) plans, Cafeteria plans, and self-insured health plans.

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A Summary Plan Description Overview: Do You Need One?

A summary plan description is what your company will use to communicate the plans rights as well as the obligations of the beneficiaries as well as the participants.

It is a summary of all the materials that are found in the plan document, and it should be in such a way that it is completely understandable to the average participant or beneficiary of the said employer, that is you. It should have some particular requirements so that it can qualify to be described as a summary plan description for your company. Such things are such as the name of the plan which is imperative to clearly outline what it is all about.

The name of the sponsor or that is you as the employer. Another important aspect of all this is the brief description of the benefits that the employee will receive. This is extremely of high importance that this is made clear as it is what the plan is all about. This can be benefits such as life, medical disability as well as dental. Another vital part is the type of plan description which should define whether the plan is administered by you the employer, or the insurer or a contract. Another part is important to remember is that the eligibility terms need to be outlined too.

The employees’ eligible classes, waiting a period of the employment and effect date of participation and much more are presented clearly. The plan contributions sources need to be described too, whether they are employee or employer contributions as well as the calculation method. These and many more other things need to be part of the SPD so that your company can be in a position to operate efficiently.

Your company needs this plan to be able to make sure that the employees are well taken care of in case of anything that is related to their health, life, and so many other things. This is a complicated plan that needs the right kind of professionals so that it can be prepared by both the employer and the employee.

SPD summary plan description

To ensure that both the parties are satisfied, some guidelines need to be followed to the letter so that it will emerge as a great plan that both will be for. You can not run a company without this scheme for your employees, so you need it.

The government requires that you run your company with this plan in hand so that if anything should happen to your employees, they will already be covered. This is why the qualified professionals need to handle SPD Summary Plan Description, and this is where we come in. We will help you structure this plan in a meticulous way that will enhance the effectiveness of the employees in the company. The kind of way that we will be able to prepare this for you will be in such a way that it will be accepted by the employees as well.

Our vast experience will guarantee that you do get what you are looking for as we have worked with similar companies before.

Click Request a Quote in the menu or call us at (515) 244-2424

http://www.bc2co.com

Why You Should Ask Our Company to Prepare Form 5500 on Your Behalf

If you have been looking for a top benefits consultant group to work with you on DOL Form 5500 preparation services, we are ready to work.

Simply call us at (515) 244-2424

Or Request a Quote

Are you aware that Form 5500 was jointly developed by the Department of Labor, the Pension Benefit-Guaranty Corporation and the Internal Revenue Service to enable citizens conveniently fulfill the annual reporting obligations under Titles I and IV of ERISA as well as the IR (Internal Revenue) Code?

If you seek our services, we shall enable you understand that Form 5500 is a vital compliance, disclosure and research tool for the DOL (Department of Labor). We shall also help you understand that the form is an important disclosure tool for plan beneficiaries and participants as well as a valuable source of info and data for utilization by the private sector, other federal agencies and Congress in assessing the benefits, policies, tax obligations and economic trends of employees.

We take cognizance of the fact that Form 5500 prep is part of the general disclosure and reporting framework of ERISA, and is meant to give assurance that the operation and management of employee benefits plans complies with the prescribed standards, and participants, regulators as well as beneficiaries have access to, and are provided with enough information to safeguard the benefits and rights of beneficiaries as well as participants under the employee benefits plans.

Compliance with the electronic filing requirement

If you seek the services provided by our company, we’ll explain to you how you can comply with the electronic filing requirement, and why you should comply.

We are aware that since 1st January 2010, it was declared that completion and submission of Form 5500 Employee Benefit Plan Reports/ Annual Returns, Form 5500 SF Small-Employee Benefits Plan Reports/ Short-Form Annual Returns as well as other requisite attachments and schedules must be done electronically using third party software approved by EFAST2, and/or through IFILE.

We are also aware that specific 5500 EZ filers are allowed to electronically submit Form 5500 SF using EFAST2, instead of submitting hard copies to the IRS.

prepare form 5500

Schedules

Our employees clearly understand everything that pertains to Form 5500, including all the schedules. Therefore, they’ll help you understand difficult concepts. If you come to us, you can be assured that your Form 5500 will be prepared by employees who are qualified, knowledgeable and experienced.

Our employees are familiar with the following; Schedule A (Insurance Information), Schedule C (Information on Service Provider), Schedule D (Participating Plan Information/ DFE), Schedule G (Financial Transactions) and Schedule H (Financial Information).

Additionally, our employees have knowledge of Schedule I (Financial Information for Small Plans), Schedule MB (Multi-Employer Defined Benefits Plan & Certain Money Purchase Schedule Actuarial Information), Schedule R (Retirement Plan Information) as well as Schedule SB (Single Employer Benefit-Plan Actuarial Information).

For these reasons, if you ask us to prepare the Form 5500 for you, you’ll be assured of getting value for money.

Dol Form 5500 Search

There are many reasons why you should hire us to take care of any problem that pertains to the preparation of Form 5500

We have the capacity to visit the Department of Labor’s website and conduct a Dol Form 5500 search to ascertain if your Form 5500 was received by EFAST2. We shall review the forms, attachments and schedules that you submitted to establish if everything was done correctly.

Do you know that if the documents you submitted are uploaded on the Department of Labor’s website, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the DOL (Department of Labor), Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit-Guaranty Corporation will automatically accept them? That’s why you should let us carry out a Dol Form 5500 Search on the DOL’s website to establish if you met all the requirements.

Why you should ask us to prepare your Form 5500 (employee benefit plan report/ annual return)

We shall prepare the Form 5500 on your behalf to report your financial condition, operations and investments. Why shall then advise you how to electronically file it via EFAST2 before the deadline (31st July for a 12 month plan).

When the government (through the three aforementioned departments) asked everyone to shift to the electronic filing system, and the departments made several changes to Form 5500, many didn’t know what to submit for plan years before the current year, and how to alter prior year filings. If you come to us for assistance, we shall enable you understand the right schedules as well as the right version of Form 5500 to use.

We shall enlighten you on why you should never, under any circumstances, electronically submit any form (such as Schedule SSA) that contains information about deferred or separated participants to the DOL (Department of Labor). We shall explain to you why such information ought to be separately submitted to the IRS.