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Employee Benefits Compliance Alert: Form 5500 Filing for Calendar Year Plans Due July 31

By Risk Strategies Employee Benefits Practice


Employee Benefits Compliance Alert: Form 5500 Filing for Calendar Year Plans Due July 31

When thinking of July, thoughts quickly drift to using some well-deserved vacation days. For those involved in the world of employee benefits, however, making plans for the month of July often centers on meeting multiple compliance deadlines that may impact your organization’s benefits program.

For instance, if you have a self-insured plan, including an HRA, your organization may be required to file the annual PCORI fee by July 31st. (This year, the actual due date will be August 2, 2021, since July 31 falls on a Saturday.) This is a compliance requirement that was instituted under the Affordable Care Act.

Another compliance requirement that may impact your business at this time of year involves the Form 5500 filing. While there are many types of plans that may require a Form 5500 (including retirement plans and profit sharing plans), this article will focus on how the requirement may apply to a typical health and welfare benefit plans.

To help your organization better understand Form 5500 reporting requirements, below is a high-level overview. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Risk Strategies representative.

  • Deadline for Filing the Form 5500 Report: Each year, applicable plan sponsors are required to file the Form 5500 by the last day of the seventh month after their plan year ends. Thus, if you have a calendar-year plan, you are generally required to file each year by July 31st.
     
  • Availability of an Extension: Plan administrators may have the opportunity to request a one-time extension of two and one-half months. This request must be processed by filing IRS Form 5558 prior to the original Form 5500 filing deadline.
     
  • Types of Benefit Plans Included in the Requirement:  The Form 5500 requirement generally applies to any benefit plan that is an ERISA welfare plan, unless an exemption applies.
     
  • Exception for Small Welfare Benefit Plans: Generally, if your benefit plan had fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year, it may be exempt from all or part of the Form 5500 series reporting requirements.
     
  • Electronic Filing Requirement: All Form 5500 documents, including required schedules and attachments, must be filed electronically using the Department of Labor’s EFAST2 electronic filing system. Administrators cannot file paper annual reports by mail or other delivery service.
     
  • Penalties for Non-Compliance: According to the Form 5500 Instructions, a penalty of up to $2,233 a day may be assessed for each day a plan administrator fails or refuses to file a complete and accurate report.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has provided several resources to help organizations further understand and meet its annual Form 5500 reporting requirements. Here are a few links that you may find beneficial:

While the Form 5500 reporting requirement is an annual one that may interrupt – or at least delay – your summer vacation plans each year, please note that the Risk Strategies team is here to help. Reach out to a representative today to find out how we can help you to manage the compliance requirements for your benefits program. Connect with our team today: benefits@risk-strategies.com


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