On December 2, 2020, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), along with the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), released advance informational copies of the Form 5500 with its instructions and related schedules.  The 5500 is filed electronically on the EBSA’s EFAST2 website, but these online previews can be very helpful to understand what will be required for the upcoming year.

A summary of the updates is provided in the EBSA’s announcement.  Essentially, the updates are:

  • For plans requiring an accountant’s opinion on Schedule H (generally only required of “funded” plans using a trust), a new auditing standard under SAS 136 is now accommodated (audits don’t have to comply with the new standard until periods ending on/after December 15, 2021, but they can voluntarily comply early)
  • Maximum penalties for Form 5500 filing failures have been indexed to $2,233 per day
  • And some updates for retirement plan filings, such as:
    • Schedule R line 14 for multiemployer plans,
    • Updating the minimum distribution age under the SECURE Act of 2019, and
    • Moving one-participant plans and foreign plans to Form 5500-EZ for their retirement plans (but still must use the full 5500 for their welfare benefit plans as welfare plans cannot use Form 5500-EZ)

IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.

This material should not be considered as a substitute for legal, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.

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