Form 5500 Update

2015 Compliance Questions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) instructed that plan sponsors should not answer the newly added compliance questions on the 2015 Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF since the new questions had not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

2016 Compliance Questions

In March 2016, the IRS announced proposed changes to the 2016 Form 5500 Series returns (including Form 5500, Form 5500-SF and 5500-SUP).  These changes incorporate updated/more consolidated versions of the 2015 compliance questions. Proposed questions include the following:

The trustee, custodian and Form 5500 preparer’s name and contact information
Basic information regarding methods used by qualified plans to satisfy nondiscrimination requirements, including ADP/ACP testing methods and minimum coverage
Timing of in-service distributions for plans subject to minimum funding including defined benefit and money purchase plans
Whether a plan received a favorable advisory, opinion or determination letter with related information
If required minimum distributions were made to more than 5% owners
The IRS also will provide a 2016 Form 5500-SUP that will be used to report these compliance questions to the IRS if these questions are not answered electronically on Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF. Form 5500-SUP will be a paper-only filing.

Form 5500 Extension Reminders

Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, is used to file for an extension of Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, Form 5500-EZ, Form 8955-SSA, and Form 5330. It permits an extension of two and a half months past the required due date (with a six-month extension for Form 5330).

A few reminders:

For first-time filers of the Form 5500 series, Part II, Question 1 must be checked.
Plan sponsors must use a separate Form 5558 for each return (it is not permissible to provide a listing of returns on one filing). However, a single Form 5558 may be used to extend both Form 5500 (or Form 5500-SF) and Form 8955-SSA for the same plan.
A signature (generally the plan sponsor’s) is required if extending the Form 5330, but not for extensions for the Form 5500 series or the Form 8955-SSA.
Form 5558 is still a paper-only filing with the IRS (electronic filings are not available at this time).

This article originally appeared in BDO USA, LLP’s “EBP Commentator” newsletter (Summer 2016). Copyright © 2016 BDO USA, LLP. All rights reserved. www.bdo.com