Yes, it’s that time of the year again – 5500 filing season is in full swing! It is imperative that you plan sponsors are handling this responsibility or have confirmed that it is being done on your behalf.
Form 5500 is required for employee benefit plans that started the plan year with 100 or greater enrolled employees. Requirements for filing health and welfare 5500s are less cumbersome than those for retirement plans but penalties for noncompliance are the same, so I suggest you get a grip on it now.
5500 filing is due at the end of the month, 7 months after the plan year ends – so for calendar year plans this means July 31, unless an extension is filed prior to the deadline which allows for a 2½ month deferral. For those of you that aren’t on a calendar year plan and may already be late: I’ve mentioned how to handle late 5500 filings in an older blog post, but you’ll need to be proactive to take advantage of the reduced penalties.
Plan sponsors should be sure they are filing 5500s for all applicable plans. It’s common for plans like Business Travel Accident (BTA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans to be overlooked. And in the absence of a wrap plan document, a separate 5500 will need to be filed for each benefit plan.
I can’t stress enough, make sure you know who is handling this important filing before it’s too late! Plan compliance is another good reason to engage a great advisor.