Form 5500 Resources

The Form 5500 is one form in a series jointly developed by three United States government agencies: the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The Form 5500 Series was created under the Internal Revenue Code and Titles I and IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to collect information about employee benefit plans, including health and pension plans.

The Form 5500 Series is part of ERISA’s overall reporting and disclosure framework, which is intended to assure that employee benefit plans are operated and managed in accordance with certain prescribed standards and that participants and beneficiaries, as well as regulators, are provided or have access to sufficient information to protect the rights and benefits of participants and beneficiaries under employee benefit plans.

Each year the the Form 5500 must be electronically filed by employee benefit plans to satisfy annual reporting requirements under the ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. Plan sponsors must generally file the return on the last day of the seventh month after their plan year ends.

Read on to learn more about who needs to file the Form 5500, the type of information to include, and the filing process.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • WHO NEEDS TO FILE THE ERISA FORM 5500?

    The Form 5500 must be completed by the sponsor of any plan subject to ERISA. Plans subject to ERISA may include:

    • Medical, dental, life insurance, or severance pay plans
    • Profit sharing, 401(k), money purchase, or stock bonus plans
    • Annuity arrangements
    • Retirement arrangements
    • Pension plans
  • WHAT INFORMATION IS NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE FORM 5500?

    The ERISA Form 5500 was created so the government can assess the financial condition, investments, and operations of all employee benefits plans. TRA gathers the following information in order to prepare the form as applicable:

    • Financial information
    • Insurance information
    • Service provider information
    • Financial transactions
    • Actuarial details
    • Accountant report
  • HOW IS THE ERISA FORM 5500 FILED?

    Since January 1, 2010, most forms in the 5500 series must be filed electronically using the U.S. Department of Labor’s EFAST system. The only current exemption to this rule is the Form 5500EZ.

  • WHEN MUST THE FORM 5500 BE FILED?

    For most plans, the Form 5500 must be filed once per year, before July 31 (if July 31 is not a business day, the next business day). However, if the ERISA plan is not a calendar year plan, the Form 5500 must be filed no later than the last day of the seventh calendar month following the end of the plan year. Extensions can be requested by submission of a Form 5558. If the Form 5558 is properly submitted before the deadline, an automatic 2.5 month extension will be granted.

    For additional assistance with the ERISA Form 5500, contact TRA today.

    At TRA we understand administering a plan and managing its assets can be challenging and time consuming for Plan Sponsors.

    At TRA we simplify those everyday demands with our 3(16) Plan Administration Relief Services to alleviate many of the day-to-day administrative burdens associated with sponsoring a plan. To learn more about our 3(16) services, click here.

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