February 8, 2012

2011 Form M-1 Filing

Multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) are subject to an annual reporting requirement.  This annual reporting requirement is to be accomplished on the Form M-1.  The Department of Labor (DOL) has recently released the 2011 edition of the Form M-1 Filing Packet. The primary change to the 2011 form is the attestation of compliance with the group market provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The online M-1 filing system is available on EBSA’s website at http://www.askebsa.dol.gov/mewa.  The website includes a user manual, frequently asked questions, and a link to submit questions electronically. Technical assistance for the online filing system is available by calling 202-693-8600.  Information about the form and how to fill it out is available online or by calling 202-693-8360.  

If you sponsored a MEWA in 2011, make certain that you file the Form M-1 annual report by March 1, 2012 (an automatic 60-day extension to May 1, 2012 can be requested).

Proposed MEWA Changes

The DOL is currently looking at modifying the rules relating to MEWAs, specifically as it relates to requiring registration of the MEWA with the DOL, and gives DOL authority to seize MEWA assets and shut down the plan altogether if deemed necessary.  The proposals would also impact the Form M-1 reporting contents.  These are just proposals at this time.  Should the DOL finalize, or make changes to the current MEWA rules, we will provide more details at that time.


The information contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended to be legal, accounting, or other professional advice, nor are these comments directed to specific situations.

As required by U.S. Treasury rules, we inform you that, unless expressly stated otherwise, any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this Benefit Beat is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Service.


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