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U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Improvements to Form 5500

Released by the United States Department of Labor on July 11, 2016.

Form 5500 affects us all and the Department of Labor is looking for your input on the proposed revisions to the form. Below you will find the proposed revisions and some details about them. 

The Form 5500 is the primary source of information about the operations, funding and investments of private-sector, employment-based pension and welfare benefit plans in the U.S. There are an estimated 2.3 million health plans, a similar number of other welfare plans and nearly 681,000 pension plans. Covering roughly 143 million private-sector workers, retirees and dependents, these plans have an estimated $8.7 trillion in assets.

The proposed revisions are intended to:

  • Modernize the financial statements and investment information filed about employee benefit plans.
  • Update the reporting requirements for service provider fee and expense information.
  • Enhance accessibility and usability of data filed on the forms.
  • Require reporting by all group health plans covered by Title I of ERISA.
  • Improve compliance under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code through new questions regarding plan operations, service provider relationships, and financial management of the plan.

The proposed regulations also would make improvements to the certification requirements for the limited scope audit requirements under 29 CFR 2520.103-8, and allow group health plans to use the Form 5500 to satisfy certain reporting requirements in the Affordable Care Act. The proposed changes to the DOL regulations are also needed to implement the form revisions.

“The proposed form changes and related regulatory amendments are important steps toward improving this critical enforcement, research and public disclosure tool,” said Assistant Secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration Phyllis C. Borzi. “The 5500 is in serious need of updates to continue to keep pace with changing conditions in the employee benefit plan and financial market sectors. We must also remedy the form’s current gaps in collecting data from ERISA group health plans.”

To read the full article from the Department of Labor, click here