Form 5500: Five Questions Asked and Answered


Form 5500 is used by employers or pension or welfare benefit plan administrators to satisfy annual reporting requirements under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. The form requires information about the qualification of the plan, its financial condition, investments and operations. And if it’s not filed on time, the fines can add up: The IRS penalty for a late filing is $25 a day up to a maximum of $15,000 and the DOL can assess up to $1,100 with no limit.

So what do you need to know to be in compliance?

  • Who Must File?
    Sponsors of any plan subject to ERISA (e.g. medical and dental, life, 401(k), pension plans and others) must complete Form 5500. Health and welfare plans with fewer than 100 participants that are unfunded, fully insured, or a combination, are exempt. For other plans with fewer than 100 participants, sponsors can file the short form, Form 5500-SF.
  • What Information is Required?
    The form requires a range of information, including a schedule of assets and liabilities; information about insurance contracts; a list of service providers; loans, fixed income obligations, leases in default and uncollectible transactions; actuarial details; and an accountant report.
  • How is the Form Filed?
    The form must be filed electronically through EFAST2.
  • When is the Form Due?
    The form is due the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends (so July 31 for a calendar-year plan or the next business day if July 31 is on a weekend). Extensions must be requested on Form 5558.
  • What Common Errors Should be Avoided?
    The IRS uses the information on the returns and reports to select cases for compliance checks. So be sure you enter correct information and codes, make entries on the right line, and don’t leave any fields blank. If you notice an error after filing, you can amend the return or file a corrected information report.

Don’t wait until you receive a letter of noncompliance! A third-party administrator can help you avoid costly penalties and ensure your Form 5500 is filed on time. Learn more here with our filing requirements for form 5500. For more information about how Complete Payroll Solutions can help, contact us at 877.253.9020.





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