The initial due date of the Form 5500 for calendar year end benefit plans is July 31, 2010, which is quickly approaching. Any benefit plan whose Form 5500 or annual audit is not completed by July 31, 2010 can file for an extension of time to file, which extends the calendar year end plan due date to October 15, 2010. The extension process remains the same as it has been in the past, however, there are some major changes to the actual filing of the Form 5500.
As of January 2010, all Form 5500 filings now need to be submitted electronically, paper filings of the Forms will no longer be accepted. This electronic filing mandate covers all pension and welfare benefit plans that fall under Title I of ERISA. All electronically filed 5500’s will be done through the Department of Labor’s EFAST2 process. Initially, one must register for credentials in order to sign or submit the electronic filing. This applies to preparers, signers and transmitters of any Form 5500 filing. The electronic filing credentials can be obtained via the EFAST website at www.efast.dol.gov.
The electronically prepared and filed 5500 can be submitted via the IFILE application available on the Department of Labor website or via a third party approved vendor. The Department of Labor has posted FAQ’s on their website via the following link http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-EFAST2.html.
For more information on employee benefit plan audits, please leave a comment below, or contact Dani Gisondo at 440-449-6800.