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December 3, 2018

Informational Form 5500 Issued for 2018 Plan Reporting (article)

The Department of Labor (DOL), together with the Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, released advanced informational versions of the 2018 Form 5500 series.  As a reminder, plan administrators of welfare benefit and pension plans subject to ERISA, with certain exceptions, must file an annual return/report to the DOL on the Form 5500.

The 2018 information-only version of the 5500 forms, schedules and instructions is available for viewing on the DOL’s website.   Of particular note, the 2018 version of the form and instructions has been modified in the following ways:

  • Form 5500-Participant Count. The instructions for Lines 5 and 6 make clarifications for welfare benefit plan reporting purposes.  Welfare plans required to file a Form 5500 must complete Line 5 and Lines 6a(1), 6a(2), 6b, 6c, and 6d.  These lines are used to determine the total number of participants, both active, retired and separated individuals, at both the beginning and end of the plan year. 
  • Principal Business Activity Codes have been updated to reflect certain updates to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).   This code is used to classify an enterprise by the type of activity in which it is engaged.
  • Administrative Penalties. The instructions reflect the increase in penalty for plan administrators who fail or refuse to file a complete or accurate Form 5500.  Such penalty has increased to up to $2,140 per day for penalties assessed after January 2, 2018 for violations occurring after November 2, 2015.

The Form 5500s and appropriate schedules are to be completed and filed electronically via DOL's EFAST2 website (http://www.efast.dol.gov).  The Form, together with the relevant schedules, must be filed with the DOL’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) as quickly as possible, but no later than the last day of the seventh month following the close of the plan year.

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The information contained in this article is provided as general guidance and may be affected by changes in law or regulation. This article is not intended to replace or substitute for accounting or other professional advice. Please consult a CBIZ professional. This information is provided as-is with no warranties of any kind. CBIZ shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever in connection with its use and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.

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