Proposed Revision of Annual Information Return/Reports
This document contains proposed changes to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report forms, including the Form 5500, Annual Return/ Report of Employee Benefit Plan (Form 5500 Annual Return/Report), and the Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan (Form 5500-SF). The annual returns/reports are filed for employee pension and welfare benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (Code). The proposed revisions in this Notice reflect efforts of the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (collectively Agencies) to improve employee benefit plan reporting for filers, the public, and the Agencies by modernizing financial information filed regarding plans; updating fee and expense information on plan service providers with a focus on harmonizing annual reporting requirements with the Department of Labor's final disclosure requirements enhancing mineability of data filed on annual return/reports; requiring reporting by all group health plans covered by Title I of ERISA, including adding a new Schedule J (Group Health Plan Information); and improving compliance under ERISA and the Code through selected new questions regarding plan operations, service provider relationships, and financial management of the plan. These revisions, which are being proposed in conjunction with a recompete of the ERISA Filing and Acceptance System (EFAST2) contract, if adopted, generally would apply for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. EFAST2 is expected to begin processing the Plan Year 2019 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report beginning January 1, 2020. The proposed revisions would affect employee pension and welfare benefit plans, plan sponsors, administrators, and service providers to plans subject to annual reporting requirements under ERISA and the Code.