ERISA FORM 5500 Compliance Questions Answered In Simple Terms.

The Form 5500 is an important necessity in ERISA compliance.

With the rampant cases of the misappropriation of employees’ retirement benefits, ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) Form 5500 is what you should be thinking of in 2016 so as to safeguard your retirement. The Form 5500 is in a series that was jointly developed by three U.S. government agencies; Department of Labor (DOL), Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The main aim of Form 5500 is to collect information about employees’ benefits plans and most importantly, safeguard their retirement benefits.

Who is to File Form 5500?

The ERISA Form 5500 is to be filled by the main sponsor/contributor of any plan(s) that is subject to ERISA. Such plans may include; medical, life and severance insurance plans, money purchase, 401(k), profit sharing, annuity plans, retirement arrangements and pension plans.

For plans that have only 100 or less members, only Form 5500-SF (short form) is filed. Also, plans maintained outside the United States, only form 5500-EZ is to be filed for such members. The completed Form 5500 must be submitted together with the necessary schedules and attachments. You can get the Form 5500 on the U.S. Department of Labor Form 5500 Series Website.

Where and how is Form 5500 Filed?

All forms are filed electronically using the U.S. Department of Labor’s EFAST system. This is exclusively online.

What Information is Necessary to Complete Form 5500?

Form 5500 was developed as a database where the government can access all information regarding employees’ benefits plans. Some of the fields that are to be filled on the form include; Financial – Assets and liabilities, Insurance – Insurance plans, Service provider – employees’ service providers, Retirement plan – pension benefit plans, Financial transactions – loans, fixed income obligations, leases in default, or uncollectible/nonexempt transactions, etc. 

When is the ERISA Form 5500 Filed?

Just like most filings, ERISA Form 5500 deadline is real. This form needs to be filed annually and before the 31st of July, or the next working day if it isn’t. However, there is room for extension if you don’t beat the stipulated deadline. With extensions however, you will have to file Form 5558. If you submit an incomplete Form 5558 before the current deadline, you also get a 2.5 months extension.

Why File ERISA Form 5500?

By now, you should be asking, why file the ERISA Form 5500? This form is convenient to both the employer and employee. To ensure your benefits are fully honored by your employers and your retirement and pension funds are safeguarded, you need to make sure you are on this platform. Employers must make sure that all their employees are registered on the Form 5500. This makes the work of the human resources easier as well as safeguard and ensure accountability of the worker’s benefits.

Since its inception, the ERISA Form 5500 has proved to be a great resource in making sure that employees’ benefits are safeguarded. Gone are the days when employees suffered in the hands of errant employers and insurance firms or their funds misappropriated by retirement benefits agencies. The for also serves to satisfy the annual report requirements of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.). With ERISA Form 5500, everything is on record, so you don’t need to worry. It is surely a convenient way through which employers and employees demonstrate accountability!

Does your company need Form 5500 Preparation? We are ERISA experts.

Contact us today for a professional risk-free consultation. Call 515-244-2424

Deadline Looms For Prior Year Form 5500 Business Filings

2015 form 5500 filing deadline is July 31, 2016!


The Department of Labor (DOL) requires this annual report which contains pertinent information about employee benefit plans which is intended to ensure that they are being operated and managed in accordance with certain standards meant to protect the rights and benefits of the plan participant.

If a benefits plan has 100 or more participants on the first day of the plan year, DOL regulations require the Form 5500 return to be submitted no later than the last day of the 7th month following the end of the plan year.


The IRS and DOL charge substantial penalties for delinquent filings.  Failure to file a required Form 5500 can result in DOL imposed penalties of up to $1,100 per day, no maximum.  The IRS imposed penalties are $25 per day, up to a maximum of $15,000.


As a leader with over 35 years of combined Form 5500 consulting and experience, Benefits Compliance Consultants, Inc. is always available to guide you through this process and answer any questions that you may have.  We offer a cost-effective, turn-key approach along with unparalleled service and can provide you and your clients with the following solutions:

  • Complimentary review of prior years Form 5500 filings and related attachments.
  • Preparation of current and/or delinquent Form 5500 filings and attachments.
  • Electronic filing services under the ERISA Filing Acceptance System 2 (EFAST2).
  • PIN Relief, eliminating the need for a signature from company owners or managers.
  • Complimentary assistance with all IRS and DOL inquiries regarding Form 5500 filings.
  • Automatic annual filings, updates and analysis provided on an ongoing basis.


Benefits Compliance Consultants, Inc. makes it easy to file form 5500 and avoid any costly non-compliance penalties. Simply email the information listed below to, and a specialist will contact you promptly regarding the next steps:

  • Full plan sponsor name (including capitalization and punctuation)
  • Plan sponsor address
  • Plan sponsor EIN
  • Client contact information (Include full name, phone, and email)
  • Number of active employees as of the first day of the plan year

Leave it to us to help eliminate the burden of these complex government filings, so that you and your clients can focus on doing what you do best.  And because Form 5500’s is all that we do, you can rest assured that your needs will be met on time, be 100% accurate and that you will always receive superior customer service.  For more information regarding our Form 5500 services, please visit our website at, or call us anytime at 515.244.2424.

Benefits Compliance Consultants, Inc. offers this blog for general informational purposes only. The content of this blog is not intended as legal or accounting advice for any purpose, and you should not consider it as such advice or as a legal opinion on any matters. The information provided herein is subject to change without notice, and you may not rely upon any such information with regard to a particular matter or set of facts. We make no warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog, and we make no representations regarding whether such information is reliable, up-to-date, or applicable to any particular situation. Benefits Compliance Consultants, Inc. expressly disclaims all liability for actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this blog, or for any damages resulting from your viewing and use of this blog.