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December 4, 2019

Informational Form 5500 Issued for 2019 Plan Reporting

The Department of Labor (DOL), together with the Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, released advanced informational versions of the 2019 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 2019 information-only version of the 5500 forms, schedules and instructions is available for viewing on the DOL’s website. There have been minor changes to the 2019 form; of particular note:

  • Business code – multiemployer plans.  With regard to entering in the appropriate business code for a multiemployer plan in Line 2d of the Form 5500, the instructions clarify that a plan sponsor must use the business code that bests describes the nature of its business and more specifically, the predominant industry in which active participants are employed. 
  • 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 been increased to up to $2,194 per day for penalties assessed after January 23, 2019, 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.

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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