Am I Required to File a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for my Employee Benefit Plan?

Am I Required to File a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for my Employee Benefit Plan?

by Posted on: July 24, 2014Categories: HR & Compliance   

Signing the Tax Forms

Administrators of ERISA employee benefit plans are required to file an annual Form 5500 or 5500-SF, unless a reporting exemption applies. More specifically, if you are the administrator of a profit sharing plan, stock bonus plan, money purchase plan, 401(k) plan, defined benefit plan, certain 403(b) plans or a welfare benefit plan, generally you must file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the plan each year.

Certain welfare benefit plans are exempt from all or part of the Form 5500 series reporting requirements. For example, there is an exemption from Form 5500 series reporting for small welfare benefit plans (fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year) that are unfunded, fully insured or a combination of unfunded and fully insured. More information on which welfare benefit plans are exempt from the Form 5500 series filing requirement is provided below.

In 2002, the IRS suspended the Form 5500 filing requirement for cafeteria plans based on the rationale that cafeteria plans are merely funding vehicles. However, a Form 5500 or 5500-SF is required for any component benefit plan that is an ERISA welfare plan (for example, health FSAs, dental, long-term disability, AD&D and group term life plans) unless an exemption applies.

For example, assume an employer maintains a cafeteria plan to allow employees to pay their health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars. All ten of the employer’s employees participate in the cafeteria plan and the underlying fully insured health plan. Under this example, the employer does not need to file a Form 5500 for the cafeteria plan and no reporting is required for the health plan because it falls under the Form 5500 filing exemption for small and fully insured welfare benefit plans.

As another example, assume the same facts, except that there are 250 employees participating in the cafeteria plan and underlying fully insured health plan. Under this scenario, a Form 5500 is not required for the cafeteria plan, but the employer must annually file a Form 5500, with all required schedules and attachments, to satisfy the ERISA reporting requirement for the health plan.

Which welfare plans must file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF?

Must File:

–   Large funded plans

–   Large unfunded plans

–   Large insured plans

–   Large combination unfunded/insured plans

–   Small funded plans

 

Exempt from filing:

–   Small unfunded plans

–   Small insured plans

–   Small combination unfunded/insured plans

–   Unfunded or insured plans for certain select employees (management or highly compensated employees)

–   Employer-sponsored day care centers

–   Certain apprenticeship and training plans

–   Plans not subject to ERISA

 

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