Who is Exempt from Filing Form 5500?

Is your business exempt from filing Form 5500?

The Form 5500 is an annual report that is filed with the department of labor containing information about the financial conditions, investments and operations of a 401k plan. It is a vital part of any business that provides a retirement plan to its employees. Generally, a company has to deposit their employee’s salary deferrals no later than the 15th business day of the month after the contribution date. Small businesses that have 100 or fewer employees get an extension of 7 days after the collection of salary deferrals.

Plans not covered by ERISA or Employee Retirement Income Security Act are exempt from filing form 5500. If you are wondering who is exempt from filing Form 5500, then read on.

1) Business Owner Only Plan – A retirement plan that covers only the business owner and the spouse (if applicable) is usually exempt from filing form 5500. This is only possible if the total plan’s assets are worth $250,000 or more, as of the first day of the plan year. This is because it assumes that the business doesn’t have employees that are eligible for the plan. If employees are improperly excluded, then the exemption is void and the Form 5500 must be filled.

2) Non-Erisa 403(b) Plans – 403(b) plans are generally exempt from filing Form 5500 and so Churches and government institutions usually get an exemption as they both frequently sponsorexempt from filing Form 5500 it. Apart from them, if an employer has limited involvement in its operation and maintenance, then that plan will also get an exemption. However, it is important to note that it is very hard to define what “limited involvement” means and so in such cases, one should consult the exemption status with an entity that has in-depth knowledge about it. Not all 403 (b) plans get an exemption.

3) Unfunded Welfare Plans – If a welfare plan has less than 100 participants at the start of the plan year and is insured or entirely unfunded, then there is no need to file Form 5500. So what makes a plan to be considered unfunded? Well, if the employer is paying the full cost of the plan from their general account, the plan is considered to be unfunded. If there is a trust involved or if the cost comes from a specific account (where the participant contributions are separated from general assets), they won’t get an exemption.

4) Plans with Only Certain Specified Benefits – If the plan provides only certain specified benefits then there is no need to file Form 5500 even if the number of participants is high. Daycare centers, certain apprenticeships and union plans, etc. generally get an exemption.

If you are unsure as to whether you or your company is exempt from filing Form 5500 you need to consult with a knowledgeable authority. Otherwise, you may end up with a penalty of $25 per day up to a maximum of $15,000 from the IRS and up to $1,100 per day from the department of labor. Most companies realize their mistake only after they receive a letter from the IRS or DOL (department of labor). As this letter is usually sent a year after its due, a substantial amount of penalty fees may be levied upon the company. It’s always wiser to be cautious to minimize potential risks especially when it comes to the IRS. We provide a number of different services ranging from Form 5500 preparation to providing retirement wrap plans to help companies navigate easier when it comes to financial hurdles.

Discover The Facts About The Benefits Compliance Form 5500 Preparation For Business

If you are reading this page you may need Form 5500 Preparation for business.

As of 2016, those who need to file Form 5500 for the employee Benefit Plan can do so electronically. This form and the need to file it was formulated by the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor as well as the PBG Corporation. It is for the purposes of collecting information about employee benefits provided by the companies they work for and the information includes pension plans and health plans.

Who Needs To File This Form?

Any company who sponsors any plan that falls under ERISA we’ll need to file this form. It can include plans for severance pay, profit-sharing, life insurance, 401K plans, dental and medical insurance, and stock bonuses. As well, it can include any type of retirement arrangements or pension plans including annuity agreements.

If a company has fewer than 100 employees that fall under these plans, then they only need to file the short form. If a company is outside of the US and its employees are nonresident aliens then they can file the EZ form. Any company needing the forms can find them at the Department of Labor website.

About Form 5500

ERISA is a term that references the ‘Employee Retirement Income Security Act’. This is an annual report of employee benefits provided by a company. Any company that falls under ERISA will be required to file this report annually. Among the plans that require the submission of this form, can include trust, various accounts, and other investment arrangements that would need reporting on this form.

The IRS and the Department of Labor along with the PBG corporation have worked together to consolidate some of the forms and reports to reduce the burden created by having too many different forms to submit. Those employers who comply with this new form submission will meet their reporting requirements and satisfy the IRS and the DOL.

Additional Requirements

Submission will need to reflect the accurate details of the particular year the form is being submitted for. Requirements related to submitting this form will vary depending on the type of plans being reported on and their particular arrangements. There is a quick reference chart to help employers understand their responsibilities and help guide them with filling out the report correctly.

Changes In The Report

There were changes in the maximum penalty that can be applied for a failure to report. Instructions on reporting have been updated. The penalty that can be applied to employers who refuse to comply with this reporting mechanism can be as much as $2,063 a day. These increases went into effect in August of 2016. From 2017 on, the penalty amount will be adjusted based on inflation each year on January 15th.

How To Get Help When You Need It

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Any employer or administrator that has questions or is unsure how to correctly fill out the form can contact a help line at 1-866- GO-EFAST. It’s also possible to reach their website anytime of day or night and any day of the week. On the website, you’re able to check frequently asked questions as well as the status of your filing and view any filings that have been posted. As well, you can access the website for the IRS any time of day or night and view any forms or publications or instructions that they have as well as answers to frequently asked questions regarding taxation.

Reporting Welfare Benefits

Any employer or administrator who manages an employee welfare benefit plan, whether that plan provides all or part of the benefits, must file the Form 5500 unless they have been given a special exemption. There are some special provisions based around whether the plan covers less than 100 participants or more than that number, and this information can be found on lines 5 and 6 of the instructions.

When To File

Any forms and accompanying statements must be filed by the 7th calendar month of the end of the plan. None of the forms should include details that exceed 12 months. Include the beginning and ending dates of the information being provided and place that in the Box on part 1 in line B.

These are the basics of filing this form.

For more information and to avoid stiff penalties this form should be submitted annually as required by law.

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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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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.

Benefits Compliance Consultants Inc. are a national company that are benefit consultants to large and small business entities.

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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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Form 5500 Series Help


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.

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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.

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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.


    Most of the employers and employees suffer a great deal when it comes to benefits such as pension plan and health. This challenge often occurs in a situation whereby one does not know his or her rights as an employer and much worse as an employee. The lucky lot that gets their (SPD) Summary Plan Description are basically participants in various retirement system such as “public employee retirement systems (PERS).

    SPD Summary Plan DescriptionAs the saying goes “When the sun goes down, do not cry, you may not be able to see the stars.” There is no need for you to be worried anymore since this article is going to drive you in understanding the primary way of informing or rather communicating the benefits of summary plan description (SPD).

    Summary plan description (SPD), as defined by DOL, is a primary vehicle that offers information to participants and the one benefiting (beneficiaries) about their plan and how it works. Obligations, benefits and rights of a person are always under the SPD policy. The plan is written for a certain number of participants, and it is sufficiently and efficiently comprehensive to explain the benefits of the covered persons.

    The plan administrator always provided the SPDs. Note that all the benefits such as pension plan, all health; medical, dental just to mention but a few, of every employee being the primary requirement in the scheme. Small programs under Form 5500 are an exemption, unlike SPD requirement where the small plan has no exemption. Title I of ERISA makes the church and governmental plans to be exempt because they differ with the Summary Plan Description requirements.

    Under ERISA section 104(b) (4), even though the plan does not cover the participants and the beneficiaries, they have a right to receive a copy of the latest SPD after sending a request to the administrator in the form of writing. For every participant covered it is his/her right to receive the SPD from the employer.

    Anytime an employer wants to distribute the SPD he should consider the following facts;

    1. An employee should not pay a single penny or fee for the SPD
    2. In case the employer decides to post the SPD on the company’s or organization’s website, he or she should communicate to his/her employees.
    3. The employer should ensure that the employees have the ability to access the SPD in the electronic platform both efficiently as well as with ease.

    There are several factors to include and consider in the Summary Plan Description. This is according to Federal Register 29 CFR 2520.102-3. Some of the key factors that must be considered include:

    1. According to DOL regulations and ERISA section 102, it requires the following to appear on the SPD;
    Plan’s name;
    Address of the employer, especially in the case of one employer plan.
    Employer identification number (EIN) that has been allocated by the IRS.
    Plan sponsor needs to assign a policy number to the project.
    The category of the welfare scheme.
    The category of administration of the project.
    ERISA section 3(16) the name, business address and telephone number.
    If the plan has a trust, it should contain each trustee name, title and physical address of the company..
    The name and address of the agent in charge of the legal process.
    The agreement and the method of obtaining the copy of the agreement presented in a manner of a statement.
    The expiry date of the plan and the basis the plan such as fiscal-year basis.

    2. Terms and conditions for participation should also be neatly and clearly provided in a statement.

    3. A detailed description of the plan.

    4. A statement that clearly explains the rules and regulations as well as the penalties.

    5. Detailed report on termination and amendment of the plan.

    6. Detailed report on circumstances on the program that may lead to the recovery of benefits.

    7. Confidentiality in contributions to the SPD plan.

    8. A complete statement informing the rights of the beneficiaries and participants according to ERISA regulations.

    9. A clear description to react to benefit claims and appealing benefit denials.

    Every company, organization, institution as well as firm needs the embracement of having an SPD, Summary Plan Description. It enhances communication and guarantees a top niche of well prepared information to all the participants.

    If you have questions or believe you need a summary plan description (SPD), it is never too late to make things right, get yours today with Benefits Compliance Consultants Inc.

    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