Tuesday, July 21st, 2020
Tax forms aren’t the most exciting things in the world, but they are necessary! To satisfy the annual reporting requirements under the ERISA and Internal Revenue Code, Form 5500 was developed. This form is to provide information to the IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) about plan operations on employee benefit plans such as retirement plans, saving plans, and health & welfare plans. The form also serves to ensure your plans are in compliance with government regulations. Plans with fewer than 100 participants may be exempt from filing, but most must file Form 5500-SF.
The 5500 reporting can be confusing, so we’ve included a list of common errors to look for when preparing the form. Look up codes that apply to your company and consult a professional for clarity if needed – many benefit brokers including 401(k) brokers will complete this form on our behalf as part of their services, so be sure to determine who is responsible for completing the form ahead of time!
- Deferrals – did the plan sponsor exceed the annual limit participants are allowed to contribute?
- Plan Participants – all eligible employees must be noted on the form
- Terminated Plans – form must include all plans, even when terminated, that have assets or plans that are frozen
- Correct EIN
- Not using approved vendors for filing
Form 5500 is due July 31st for most plans and must be filed electronically. If you must file an extension, Form 5588 will need to be submitted. Many companies use a third-party administrator to help prepare the form to minimize the risk of errors. Reach out to your HR Consultant for further questions if you need assistance preparing this form.