FAQs for Filing the ERISA Form 5500

The Form 5500 series is a reporting and disclosure tool used to satisfy annual reporting requirements for employee benefit plans under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. Form 5500 provides federal agencies with information regarding the employer's plan, its finances, and its operation. 

All health plan providers or administrators subject to ERISA must accurately report the characteristics and operations of their plans in the Form 5500 each year. An employer's filing requirements will vary depending on the particular type of plan and its size. Generally, a group health plan with fewer than 100 employees that is either fully insured or self-funded (or a combination of both) is not required to file Form 5500. But, if a plan is funded by a trust, it must file the Form 5500 irrespective of employer size. 

The 401( k ) Profit Sharing 5500 filing is different and separate from the Health and Welfare filing. If a company qualifies to file a Form 5500, they will still need to file for a Health and Welfare Benefit filing.

For more information about Form 5500, visit this Department of Labor page.

The deadline to file is the last day of the 7th calendar month after the plan year ends (for example, July 31 for a calendar year plan).

Extension for Filing Form 5500

Companies may use Form 5558 to apply for an extension of time to file the Form 5500 series. A Form 5558 extension is automatically approved to the date requested if it is filed on or before the Form 5500 due date, and if the requested date is no later than the 15th day of the third month after the due date. 

For more information about Form 5500, visit this Department of Labor page.

When do companies need to file a Form 5558 extension by?

A Form 5558 extension is automatically approved to the date requested if it is filed on or before the Form 5500 due date, and if the requested date is no later than the 15th day of the third month after the due date.

On the first day of their ERISA plan year (which is different than the policy year), if the company had 100 or more participants enrolled in coverage, then they will need to file a Form 5500 for their Health and Welfare Benefit plan. A group health plan with fewer than 100 employees that is either fully-insured or self-funded (or a combination of both) is generally not required to file Form 5500.

Participants include employees, COBRA enrollees, and retirees, but does not include dependents.

For more information about Form 5500, visit this Department of Labor page.

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