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Total Articles: 13

Calendar Year Plans Need to File Form 5500 by Monday, July 31, 2017

Executive Summary: The Form 5500 is an annual report that must be filed for every employee benefit plan that covers 100 or more participants. For calendar year plans, these forms must be filed by July 31, 2017.

IRS Requests Comments on New Compliance Questions in Form 5500

The IRS added new compliance questions to the 2015 IRS Form 5500/5500-SF, which is the annual report filed by retirement plans with the Department of Labor and the IRS. The Form 5500 instructions, however, specifically provide that plan sponsors should not complete these questions for the 2015 plan year filing. Last week, the IRS invited comments on several of the new questions. In its request for comments, the IRS has also proposed to modify some of the questions from their original form, or delete them entirely.

IRS Introduces New Compliance Questions on Form 5500

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has revised the Form 5500-series returns for 2015 to include certain Internal Revenue Code compliance questions. A Form 5500 must generally be filed for qualified retirement plans as well as any welfare benefit plan that covered at least 100 participants as of the beginning of the plan year. The new questions are primarily, but not exclusively, directed at qualified retirement plans. For the 2015 plan year, answering the new questions is optional but strongly encouraged.

Undoing Form 5500 Extensions

Over this past summer, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (the "Surface Transportation Act") included a provision that extended by a month the automatic extension that is available to Form 5500-series filers, to be effective with the filing of the 2016 returns. (See our Legal Alert dated September 9, 2015.) Whether you appreciated it or not, that extension was short-lived, and has now been repealed before even taking effect.

Guidance Prompts Changes to PBGC Reportable Event Rules and Electronic Filing Requirements for Multiemployer Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently issued two important pieces of guidance that change certain of the PBGC’s notice requirements for both single-employer and multiemployer pension plans.

Extending Form 5500 Deadlines

On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed the "Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015" (P.L. 114-41) (the "Act"). The Act primarily served to extend the Highway Trust Fund and various related measures, but it also included a number of unrelated provisions, one of which was a revision in the rules relating to extensions for filing Forms 5500. (There were also changes made to the due dates of various other tax returns, but those changes are beyond the scope of this Alert; you may contact the author if you would like additional information regarding those changes as well.)

IRS Makes Permanent Late Filing Relief for “One-Participant” and Certain Foreign Retirement Plans

The IRS issued guidance making permanent a program providing relief to certain retirement plans from penalties associated with late filings of Form 5500s. The IRS had previously made the program available on a temporary basis about one year ago. Only “one-participant” plans and certain foreign plans are eligible for the relief. One-participant plans include retirement plans maintained by small businesses that cover only the owner or the owner and the owner’s spouse, and plans maintained by partnerships with one or more partners that only cover the partners of the businesses and their spouses. Foreign plans eligible for the relief include retirement plans maintained outside of the United States primarily for nonresident aliens. These plans can be maintained by domestic or foreign employers with income derived from sources within the United States and that deduct contributions to their plans from their U.S. income tax return. No plan that is subject to Title I of ERISA is eligible for the relief.

Calendar Year Plans Need to File Form 5500 by July 31, 2015

Executive Summary: The Form 5500 and Form 5500-EZ are annual reports that must be filed for every employee benefit plan that covers 100 or more participants. For calendar year plans, these forms must be filed by July 31, 2015.

Calendar Year Plans Need to File Form 5500 by July 31, 2014

Executive Summary: Administrators or sponsors of employee benefit plans subject to ERISA generally must file information regarding each benefit plan every year. This information is filed using Form 5500. For calendar year plans, these forms must be filed by July 31, 2014.

Legal Alert: Calendar Year Plans Need to File Form 5500 by July 31, 2012

Executive Summary: The Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, is used to report information concerning employee benefit plans and must be filed by the last day of the 7th calendar month after the end of the plan year, which is July 31, 2012 for calendar year plans.

Filing Due Date Extended For Form 8955-SSA

Many of you who are familiar with the Form 5500 will remember the Schedule SSA. The Schedule SSA was formerly part of the annual Form 5500, used to notify the Social Security Administration about separated plan participants who retain vested benefits in a pension or retirement plan. Ideally, when a participant retires and applies for Social Security, the Social Security Administration then alerts the individual that she or he might still be owed pension or retirement money from the plan.

IRS Releases New Form For Extension Of Time

Last month, the IRS released an updated version of Form 5558, "Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns." In prior versions, the Form 5558 was used to provide either a one-time extension of the due date for the filing of a Form 5500 Series Return for a plan (meaning a Form 5500, a Form 5500-SF or a Form 5500-EZ Return), or to request an extension of time for filing of a Form 5330 to report excise taxes associated with an employee benefit plan.

EFAST2 Filing System Now In Place.

The Form 5500 is changing! Forms in the 5500 series (including the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan and Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual Return Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan) are used annually to report information concerning a welfare benefit or retirement plan's funding, size, operations and other characteristics.
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