Reporting and Disclosure Guide for EmployeeBenefit PlansU.S. Department of LaborEmployee Benefits Security AdministrationR...
IntroductionThis Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans has           Health Plans; and Additional Disc...
Overview of ERISA Title I Basic Disclosure Requirements1*    Section 1: Basic Disclosure Requirements for Pension and Welf...
Section 2: Additional Disclosure Requirements for Welfare Benefit Plans That Are Group Health Plans2         Document     ...
Document                                           Type of Information                                                 T W...
Document                           Type of Information                                      T Whom                        ...
Section 3: Additional Disclosure Requirements for Pension Plans              Document                          Type of Inf...
Document                          Type of Information                                   T Whom                            ...
Document                               Type of Information                                      To Whom                   ...
Document                             Type of Information                                  T Whom                          ...
Overview of Basic PBGC Reporting and Disclosure Requirements    Section 1: Pension Insurance Premiums (for covered single-...
Document                                Type of Information                                 T Whom                        ...
Document                          Type of Information                             To Whom                     When Form 60...
Document                             Type of Information                      T Whom                                      ...
Overview of Form 5500 and Form M-1 Annual Reporting RequirementsForm 5500 Annual Reporting Requirements                   ...
1*  Section 1: Pension and Welfare Benefit Plan Quick Reference Chart: Form 5500, Schedules and Attachments               ...
Large Pension Plan                      Small Pension Plan                      Large Welfare Plan                      Sm...
1    Section 2: DFE Quick Reference Chart: Form 5500, Schedules and Attachments                                           ...
1     Section 3: MEWAs and ECEs Quick Reference Chart: Form M-1               Document                                   T...
EBSA Resources                                                             PBGC ResourcesFor more information about EBSA’s...
Reporting disclosure guide for employee benefit plans
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Reporting disclosure guide for employee benefit plans

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This Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans has
been prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits
Security Administration (EBSA) with assistance from the Pension
Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). It is intended to be used as a
quick reference tool for certain basic reporting and disclosure
requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974 (ERISA).

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Reporting disclosure guide for employee benefit plans

  1. 1. Reporting and Disclosure Guide for EmployeeBenefit PlansU.S. Department of LaborEmployee Benefits Security AdministrationRevised October 2008
  2. 2. IntroductionThis Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans has Health Plans; and Additional Disclosure Requirements for Pensionbeen prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Plans.Security Administration (EBSA) with assistance from the PensionBenefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). It is intended to be used as a The second chapter, beginning on page 10, provides an overview ofquick reference tool for certain basic reporting and disclosure reporting and disclosure requirements for defined benefit pension plansrequirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of under Title IV of ERISA. The PBGC administers these provisions. The1974 (ERISA). Not all ERISA reporting and disclosure requirements are chapter focuses primarily on single-employer plans and has fourreflected in this guide. For example, the guide, as a general matter, does sections. The first section - Pension Insurance Premiums - applies tonot focus on disclosures required by the Internal Revenue Code or the covered single-employer and multiemployer defined benefit plans. Theprovisions of ERISA for which the Treasury Department and Internal last three sections - Standard Terminations, Distress Terminations, andRevenue Service have regulatory and interpretive authority. Other Reports - apply only to covered single-employer defined benefit plans.The guide contains, on page 19, a list of EBSA and PBGC resources,including agency Internet sites, where laws, regulations, and other The third chapter, beginning on page 14, provides an overview of theguidance are available on ERISA’s reporting and disclosure Form 5500 and Form M-1 Annual Reporting requirements. The chapterrequirements. Readers should refer to the law, regulations, instructions consists of the following quick reference charts: Pension and Welfarefor any applicable form, or other official guidance issued by EBSA or the Benefit Plan Form 5500 Quick Reference Chart; DFE Form 5500 QuickPBGC for complete information on ERISA’s reporting and disclosure Reference Chart; and Form M-1 Quick Reference Chart.requirements. This Department of Labor publication is intended to improve publicThis guide contains three chapters. The first chapter, beginning on page access to information about the reporting and disclosure rules under2, provides an overview of the most common disclosures that ERISA. We made every effort to ensure that the information presentedadministrators of employee benefit plans are required to furnish to reflects current laws and final regulations as of July 2008. Please beparticipants, beneficiaries, and certain other individuals under Title I sure to check current laws and regulations on our website atof ERISA. The chapter has three sections: Basic Disclosure www.dol.gov/ebsa.Requirements for Pension and Welfare Benefit Plans; AdditionalDisclosure Requirements for Welfare Benefit Plans That Are Group 1
  3. 3. Overview of ERISA Title I Basic Disclosure Requirements1* Section 1: Basic Disclosure Requirements for Pension and Welfare Benefit Plans Document Type of Information T Whom o When Summary Plan Description (SPD) Primary vehicle for informing participants Participants and those pension plan Automatically to participants within 90 and beneficiaries about their plan and how it beneficiaries receiving benefits. (Also see days of becoming covered by the plan operates. Must be written for average “Plan Documents” below for persons with and to pension plan beneficiaries within 90 participant and be sufficiently comprehen- the right to obtain SPD upon request). days after first receiving benefits. sive to apprise covered persons of their However, a plan has 120 days after benefits, rights, and obligations under the See 29 CFR § 2520.102-2(c) for provisions becoming subject to ERISA to distribute plan. Must accurately reflect the plan’s on foreign language assistance when a the SPD. Updated SPD must be furnished contents as of the date not earlier than 120 certain portion of plan participants are every 5 years if changes made to SPD days prior to the date the SPD is disclosed. literate only in the same non-English information or plan is amended. Other- See 29 CFR §§ 2520.102-2 and 2520.102-3 language. wise must be furnished every 10 years. for style, format, and content requirements. See 29 CFR § 2520.104b-2. Summary of Material Modification Describes material modifications to a plan Participants and those pension plan Automatically to participants and pension (SMM) and changes in the information required to beneficiaries receiving benefits. (Also see plan beneficiaries receiving benefits; not be in the SPD. Distribution of updated SPD “Plan Documents” below for persons with later than 210 days after the end of the plan satisfies this requirement. See 29 CFR the right to obtain SMM upon request). year in which the change is adopted. § 2520.104b-3. Summary Annual Report (SAR) Narrative summary of the Form 5500. See Participants and those pension plan Automatically to participants and pension 29 CFR § 2520.104b-10(d) for prescribed beneficiaries receiving benefits. For plan plan beneficiaries receiving benefits format. years beginning after December 31, 2007, within 9 months after end of plan year, or the SAR is no longer required for defined 2 months after due date for filing Form benefit pension plans, which now instead 5500 (with approved extension). provide the annual funding notice (see below). Notification of Benefit Determination Information regarding benefit claim Claimants (participants and beneficiaries or Requirements vary depending on type of (claims notices or “explanation of determinations. Adverse benefit determina- authorized claims representatives). plan and type of benefit claim involved. benefits”) tions must include required disclosures See 29 CFR § 2560.503-1 for prescribed (e.g., the specific reason(s) for the denial of claims procedures requirements. a claim, reference to the specific plan provisions on which the benefit determina- tion is based, and a description of the plan’s appeal procedures). Plan Documents The plan administrator must furnish copies Participants and beneficiaries. Also see Copies must be furnished no later than 30 of certain documents upon written request 29 CFR § 2520.104a-8 regarding the days after a written request. Plan and must have copies available for Department’s authority to request docu- administrator must make copies available examination. The documents include the ments. at its principal office and certain other latest updated SPD, latest Form 5500, trust locations as specified in 29 CFR agreement, and other instruments under § 2520.104b-1(b). which the plan is established or operated.*All footnotes for this chapter are on page 4.2
  4. 4. Section 2: Additional Disclosure Requirements for Welfare Benefit Plans That Are Group Health Plans2 Document Type of Information T Whom o WhenSummary of Material Reduction in Summary of group health plan amendments Participants. Generally within 60 days of adoption ofCovered Services or Benefits and changes in information required to be material reduction in group health plan in SPD that constitute a “material reduction services or benefits. See 29 CFR in covered services or benefits.” See 29 § 2520.104b-3(d)(2) regarding 90-day CFR § 2520.104b-3(d)(3) for definitions. alternative rule for furnishing the required information. 3Initial COBRA Notice Notice of the right to purchase temporary Covered employees and covered spouses. When group health plan coverage extension of group health coverage when commences. coverage is lost due to a qualifying event. For more information, see EBSA’s booklet An Employer’s Guide to Group Health Continuation Coverage Under COBRA. See 29 CFR § 2590.606-1. 3COBRA Election Notice Notice to “qualified beneficiaries” of their Covered employees, covered spouses, The administrator must generally provide right to elect COBRA coverage upon and dependent children who are qualified qualified beneficiaries with this notice, occurrence of qualifying event. For more beneficiaries. generally within 14 days after being information, see EBSA’s booklet An notified by the employer or qualified Employer’s Guide to Group Health beneficiary of the qualifying event. If the Continuation Coverage Under COBRA. employer is also the plan administrator, See 29 CFR § 2590.606-4. the administrator must provide the notice not later than 44 days after: the date on which the qualifying event occurred; or if the plan provides that COBRA continua- tion coverage starts on the date of loss of coverage, the date of loss of coverage due to a qualifying event.Notice of Unavailability of COBRA Notice that an individual is not entitled to Individuals who provide notice to the The administrator must provide this notice COBRA coverage. See 29 CFR § 2590.606- administrator of a qualifying event whom generally within 14 days after being 4(c). the administrator determines are not eligible notified by the individual of the qualifying for COBRA coverage. event.Notice of Early Termination of COBRA Notice that a qualified beneficiary’s Qualified beneficiaries whose COBRA As soon as practicable following theCoverage COBRA coverage will terminate earlier coverage will terminate earlier than the administrator’s determination that than the maximum period of coverage. maximum period of coverage. coverage will terminate. See 29 CFR § 2590.606-4(d). 3
  5. 5. Document Type of Information T Whom o When Certificate of Creditable Coverage4 Notice from employee’s former group Participants and beneficiaries who lose Automatically upon losing group health health plan documenting prior group health coverage or who request a certificate. plan coverage, becoming eligible for plan creditable coverage. See 29 CFR § COBRA coverage, and when COBRA 2590.701-5(a)(3)(ii) for information required coverage ceases. A certificate may be to be included on the certificate. requested free of charge anytime prior to losing coverage and within 24 months of losing coverage. General Notice of Preexisting Notice describing a group health plan’s Participants. Must be provided as part of any written Condition Exclusion4 preexisting condition exclusion and how application materials distributed for prior creditable coverage can reduce the enrollment. If the plan or issuer does not preexisting condition exclusion period. distribute such materials, by the earliest See 29 CFR § 2590.701-3(c) for pre- date following a request for enrollment that scribed requirements. a plan or issuer, acting in a reasonable and prompt fashion, can provide the notice. Notice that a specific preexisting condition Participants and beneficiaries who As soon as possible following the Individual Notice of Period of exclusion period applies to an individual demonstrate creditable coverage that is not determination of creditable coverage. Preexisting Condition Exclusion4 upon consideration of creditable coverage enough to completely offset the preexisting evidence and an explanation of appeal condition exclusion. procedures if the individual disputes the plan’s determination. See 29 CFR § 2590.701-3(e) for prescribed requirements. Notice of Special Enrollment Rights4 Notice describing the group health plan’s Employees eligible to enroll in a group At or before the time an employee is special enrollment rules including the right health plan. initially offered the opportunity to enroll in to special enroll within 30 days of the loss the group health plan. of other coverage or of marriage, birth of a child, adoption, or placement for adoption. See 29 CFR § 2590.701-6(c) for prescribed requirements as well as a model notice. Wellness Program Disclosure4 Notice given by any group health plan Participants and beneficiaries eligible to In all plan materials that describe the offering a wellness program that requires participate in a wellness program that terms of the wellness program. If the individuals to meet a standard related to a requires individuals to meet a standard plan materials merely mention that a health factor in order to obtain a reward. The related to a health factor in order to obtain program is available, without describing notice must disclose the availability of a a reward. its terms, this disclosure is not required. reasonable alternative standard (or possibility of waiver of the otherwise applicable standard). See 29 CFR § 2590.702(f)(2)(v) for prescribed requirements as well as model language.1 Please refer to the Department’s regulations and other guidance for information on the extent to which charges may be assessed to cover the cost of furnishing particular information, statements, or documents to participants and beneficiaries required under Title I of ERISA. See, e.g., 29 CFR 2520.104b-30.2 The term “group health plan” means an employee welfare benefit plan to the extent that the plan provides medical care to employees or their dependents directly or through insurance, reimbursement or otherwise.3 COBRA generally applies to group health plans of employers who employed 20 or more employees during the prior calendar year. Provisions of COBRA covering State and local government plans are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. COBRA does not apply to plans sponsored by certain church-related organizations.4 For more information, see EBSA’s Compliance Assistance Guide: Health Benefits Coverage Under Federal Law.4
  6. 6. Document Type of Information T Whom o WhenWomen’s Health and Cancer Rights Notice describing required benefits for Participants. Notice must be furnished upon enrollmentAct (WHCRA) Notices4 mastectomy-related reconstructive surgery, and annually. prostheses, and treatment of physical complications of mastectomy.Medical Child Support Order (MCSO) Notification from plan administrator Participants, any child named in a MCSO, Administrator, upon receipt of MCSO,Notice regarding receipt and qualification and his or her representative. must promptly issue notice (including determination on a MCSO directing the plan’s procedures for determining its plan to provide health insurance coverage qualified status). Administrator must also to a participant’s noncustodial children. See issue separate notice as to whether the ERISA § 609(a)(5)(A) for prescribed MCSO is qualified within a reasonable requirements. time after its receipt.National Medical Support (NMS) Notice used by State agency responsible State agencies, employers, plan administra- Employer must either send Part A to theNotice for enforcing health care coverage tors, participants, custodial parents, State agency, or Part B to plan administra- provisions in a MCSO. See ERISA § children, representatives. tor, within 20 days after the date of the 609(a)(5) and 29 CFR § 2590.609-2 for notice or sooner, if reasonable. Adminis- prescribed requirements. Depending upon trator must promptly notify affected certain conditions, employer must persons of receipt of the notice and the complete and return Part A of the NMS procedures for determining its qualified notice to the State agency or transfer Part B status. Administrator must within 40- of the notice to the plan administrator for a business days after its date or sooner, if determination on whether the notice is a reasonable, complete and return Part B to qualified MCSO. the State agency and must also provide required information to affected persons. Under certain circumstances, the employer may be required to send Part A to the State agency after the plan administrator has processed Part B. 5
  7. 7. Section 3: Additional Disclosure Requirements for Pension Plans Document Type of Information T Whom o When Periodic Pension Benefit Statement Content of statements varies depending Participants and beneficiaries In general, at least once each quarter for on the type of plan. individual account plans that permit participants to direct their investments; In general, all statements must indicate at least once each year, in the case of total benefits and total nonforfeitable individual account plans that do not pension benefits, if any, which have permit participants to direct their accrued, or earliest date on which benefits investments; and at least once every become nonforfeitable. three years in the case of defined benefit plans or, in the alternative, Benefit statements for an individual defined benefit plans can satisfy this account plan must also provide the value requirement if at least once each year of each investment to which assets in the the administrator provides notice of the individual account have been allocated. availability of the pension benefit statement and the ways to obtain such Benefit statements for individual account statement. In addition, the plan plans that permit participant investment administrator of a defined benefit plan direction must also include an explanation must furnish a benefit statement to a of any limitation or restriction on any participant or beneficiary upon written right of the participant or beneficiary request, limited to one request during under the plan to direct an investment; an any 12-month period. In addition, the explanation of the importance of a well- plan administrator of an individual balanced and diversified portfolio, account plan must furnish a benefit including a statement of the risk that statement upon request to a beneficiary holding more than 20 percent of a that does not receive statements portfolio in the security of an entity (such automatically, limited to one request as employer securities) may not be during any 12-month period. adequately diversified; and a notice directing the participant or beneficiary to the Internet website of the Department of Labor for sources of information on individual investing and diversification. See ERISA § 105. Statement of Accrued and Statements of total accrued benefits and Participants. The plan administrator shall provide a Nonforfeitable Benefits total nonforfeitable pension benefits, if statement to participants upon request, any, which have accrued, or the earliest upon termination of service with the date on which benefits become nonfor- employer, or after the participant has a feitable. See ERISA § 209. 1-year break in service. Not more than one statement shall be required in any 12-month period for statements provided upon request. Not more than one statement shall be required with respect to consecutive 1-year breaks in service.6
  8. 8. Document Type of Information T Whom o WhenSuspension of Benefits Notice Notice that benefit payments are being Employees whose benefits are suspended. During first month or payroll period in suspended during certain periods of which the withholding of benefit employment or reemployment. See 29 payments occurs. CFR § 2530.203-3 for prescribed require- ments.Notice of Transfer of Excess Notification of transfer of defined benefit Employer sponsoring pension plan from Notices must be given not later than 60Pension Assets to Retiree Health plan excess assets to retiree health benefit which transfer is made must give notice to days before the date of the transfer. TheBenefit Account account. See ERISA § 101(e) for pre- the Secretaries of Labor and the Treasury, employer notice also must be available scribed requirements. each employee organization representing for inspection in the principal office of plan participants, and the plan administrator. the administrator. Plan administrator must notify each participant and beneficiary under the plan.Domestic Relations Order (DRO) Notifications from plan administrator Participants, and alternate payees (i.e., Administrator, upon receipt of the DRO,and Qualified Domestic Relations regarding its receipt of a DRO, and upon a spouse, former spouse, child, or other must promptly issue the notice (includ-Order (QDRO) Notices determination as to whether the DRO is dependent of a participant named in a DRO ing the plan’s procedures for determin- qualified. For more information see ERISA as having a right to receive all or a portion ing its qualified status). The second § 206(d)(3) and the EBSA booklet QDROs: of the participant’s plan benefits). notice, regarding whether the DRO is The Division of Retirement Benefits qualified, must be issued within a Through Qualified Domestic Relations reasonable period of time after receipt of Orders. the DRO.Notice of Significant Reduction in Notice of plan amendments to defined Participants, alternate payees under a Except as provided in regulationsFuture Benefit Accruals benefit plans and certain defined contribu- QDRO, contributing employers, prescribed by the Secretary of the tion plans that provide for a significant and certain employee organizations. Treasury, notice must be provided reduction in the rate of future benefit within a reasonable time, generally 45 accruals or the elimination or significant days, before the effective date of a reduction in an early retirement benefit or plan amendment subject to ERISA. See retirement-type subsidy. See 26 CFR §204(h) of ERISA and IRC §4980F. § 54.4980F-1 for further information.Notice of Failure to Meet Minimum Notification of failure to make a required Participants, beneficiaries, and alternate Must be furnished within a “reasonable”Funding Standards installment or other plan contribution to payees under QDROs. period of time after the failure. Notice is satisfy minimum funding standard within 60 not required if a funding waiver is days of contribution due date. (Not requested in a timely manner; if waiver is applicable to multiemployer plans). See denied, notice must be provided within ERISA § 101(d) for more information. 60 days after the denial.Section 404(c) Plan Disclosures Investment-related and certain other Participants or beneficiaries, as applicable. Certain information should be furnished disclosures for participant-directed to participants or beneficiaries before the individual account plans described in 29 time when investment instructions are to CFR § 2550.404c-1, including blackout be made; certain information must be notice for participant-directed individual furnished upon request. account plans described in ERISA section 404(c)(1)(A)(ii), as described below. 7
  9. 9. Document Type of Information To Whom When Notice of Blackout Period for Individual Notification of any period of more than 3 Participants and beneficiaries of individual Generally at least 30 days but not more Account Plans consecutive business days when there is a account plans affected by such blackout than 60 days advance notice. See ERISA temporary suspension, limitation or periods and issuers of affected employer § 101(i) and 29 CFR § 2520.101-3 for restriction under an individual account plan securities held by the plan. further information on the notice on directing or diversifying plan assets, requirement. obtaining loans, or obtaining distributions. Qualified Default Investment Advance notice to participants and Participants and beneficiaries. An initial notice must be furnished at Alternative Notice beneficiaries describing the circum- least 30 days in advance of the date of stances under which contributions or plan eligibility, or at least 30 days in other assets will be invested on their advance of the date of any first behalf in a qualified default investment investment in a qualified default alternative, the investment objectives of investment alternative on behalf of a the qualified default investment alterna- participant or beneficiary; or on or tive, and the right of participants and before the date of plan eligibility if the beneficiaries to direct investments out of participant has the opportunity to make the qualified default investment alterna- a permissible withdrawal within the first tive. See 29 CFR § 2550.404c-5. See also 90 days. Further, there is an annual ERISA § 514(e)(3). notice requirement within a reasonable period of time of at least 30 days in advance of each subsequent plan year. See 29 CFR § 2550.404c-5. Automatic Contribution Arrangement A plan administrator of an automatic Each participant to whom the arrangement The plan administrator of an automatic Notice contribution arrangement shall provide a applies. See ERISA § 514(e)(3). contribution arrangement shall, within notice under ERISA § 514(e)(3). Gener- a reasonable period before such plan ally, this notice shall inform participants of year, provide the notice. See ERISA their rights and obligations under the § 514(e)(3). arrangement. Annual Funding Notice Basic information about the funding status Participants, beneficiaries receiving Not later than 120 days after the plan and financial condition of the defined benefits, each labor organization year for large plans. Small plans (100 benefit pension plan, including the plan’s representing participants under the plan, or fewer participants) must furnish the funding percentage; assets and liabilities; each employer that has an obligation to notice no later than the earlier of the and a description of the benefits guaran- contribute under the plan, and PBGC. date on which the annual report is filed teed by the PBGC. See ERISA §101(f). or the latest date the annual report must be filed (including extensions). Multiemployer Plan Summary Report Certain financial information, such as Each employee organization and to each Within 30 days after the due date of the contribution schedules, benefit formulas, employer that has an obligation to annual report. number of employers obligated to contribute to the plan. contribute, number of participants on whose behalf no contributions were made for a specified period of time, number of withdrawing employers, and withdrawal liability. See ERISA §104(d).8
  10. 10. Document Type of Information T Whom o WhenMultiemployer Pension Plan Copies of periodic actuarial reports, Participants, beneficiaries receiving Within 30 days of written request.Information Made Available on Request quarterly, semi-annual, or annual financial benefits, each labor organization represent- Requester not entitled to receive more reports, and amortization extension ing participants under the plan, and each than one copy of any report or applications. See ERISA §101(k). employer that has an obligation to application during any 12-month period. contribute to the plan. See ERISA § 101(k).Multiemployer Plan Notice of Potential Estimated amount of employer’s with- Any employer who has an obligation to Generally, within 180 days of a writtenWithdrawal Liability drawal liability and how such estimated contribute to the plan. request. liability was determined. See ERISA § 101(l).Notice of Funding-based Limitation The plan administrator of a single- Participants and beneficiaries. Generally, within 30 days after a plan employer or multiple employer defined becomes subject to a specified funding- benefit plan must provide a notice of based limitation, as well as at any other specified funding-based limits on benefit time determined by the Secretary of the accruals and benefit distributions. See Treasury. ERISA § 101(j).Notice of Right to Divest Notice of right to sell company stock and Participants, alternate payees with Not later than 30 days before the first reinvest proceeds into other investments accounts under the plan, and beneficiaries date on which the individuals are available under the plan. Notice also of deceased participants. See ERISA § eligible to exercise their rights. See must describe the importance of diversi- 204(j). ERISA § 101(m). fying the investment of retirement account assets. See ERISA § 101(m). 9
  11. 11. Overview of Basic PBGC Reporting and Disclosure Requirements Section 1: Pension Insurance Premiums (for covered single-employer and multiemployer defined benefit plans) (ERISA §§ 4006 and 4007; 29 CFR Parts 4006 and 4007)* Document Type of Information T Whom o When Estimated Premium Filing Estimated flat-rate premium payment (with Pension Benefit Guaranty By last day of second full calendar month supporting data) for plans with 500 or more Corporation (PBGC) following end of prior plan year. participants in prior plan year. Comprehensive Premium Filing Annual premium payment (with supporting PBGC For plans with fewer than 100 participants data) for all plans. in prior plan year, by last day of 16th full calendar month following end of the preceding premium payment year (e.g., April 30, 2009 for 2008 calendar-year plans). For plans with 100 or more participants in prior plan year, by 15th day of the tenth full calendar month following end of prior plan year (e.g., October 15, 2008 for 2008 calendar-year plans). Section 2: Standard Terminations (for covered single-employer defined benefit plans) (ERISA §§ 4041 and 4050; 29 CFR Parts 4041 and 4050) Document Type of Information T Whom o When Notice of Intent to Terminate Advises of proposed termination and Participants, beneficiaries, alternate At least 60 and no more than 90 days provides information about the termination payees, and union. before proposed termination date. (If process. possible insurers not known at this time, supplemental notice no later than 45 days before distribution date.) Form 500 - Standard Termination Advises of proposed termination and PBGC No later than 180 days after proposed Notice provides plan data. termination date. Notice of Plan Benefits Provides information on each person’s Participants, beneficiaries, and alternate No later than the time Form 500 benefits. payees. (Standard Termination Notice) is filed with PBGC.* Note: Plans e-file for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2007. To electronically submit premium filings and payments to the PBGC, use PBGC’s online application, My Plan Administration Account (My PAA). MyPAA and more information can be found at the PBGC’s Web site (www.pbgc.gov) on the page for Practitioners under Premium Filings.10
  12. 12. Document Type of Information T Whom o WhenForm 501 - Post-Distribution Certifies that distribution of plan assets has PBGC No later than the 30th day after distributionCertification been properly completed. of plan assets completed. (If PBGC assesses a penalty, it will do so only to the extent the form is filed more than 90 days after distribution deadline, including extensions.)Schedule MP - Missing Participants Advises of a participant or beneficiary under a PBGC Filed with Form 501. (See above for terminating plan whom the plan administrator time limits.) cannot locate.Section 3: Distress Terminations (for covered single-employer defined benefit plans)(ERISA §§ 4041 and 4050; 29 CFR Parts 4041 and 4050) Document Type of Information To Whom WhenForm 600 - Distress Termination Advises of proposed termination and PBGC At least 60 days and (except with PBGCNotice of Intent to Terminate provides plan and sponsor data. approval) no more than 90 days before proposed termination date.Notice of Intent to Terminate to Advises of proposed termination and Participants, beneficiaries, alternate No later than the time Form 600Affected Parties Other than PBGC provides information about the termina- payees, and union. (Notice of Intent to Terminate) is filed tion process. with PBGC.Disclosure of Termination A plan administrator must disclose Participants, beneficiaries, alternate Not later than 15 days after (1) receiptInformation information it has submitted to PBGC in payees, and union. of a request from the affected party for connection with a distress termination. the information; or (2) the provision of See ERISA section 4041(c)(2)(D). (Note new information to the PBGC relating that a plan administrator or a plan sponsor to a previous request. must disclose information it has submitted to PBGC in connection with a PBGC- initiated termination. See ERISA § 4042(c)(3).)Notice of Request to Bankruptcy Advises of sponsor’s/controlled group PBGC Concurrent with request to BankruptcyCourt to Approve Termination member’s request to Bankruptcy Court to Court. approve plan termination based upon reorganization test.Form 601 - Distress Termination Demonstrates satisfaction of distress PBGC No later than the 120th day after theNotice, Single-Employer Plan criteria, and provides plan and sponsor/ proposed termination date.Termination controlled group data. 11
  13. 13. Document Type of Information To Whom When Form 602 - Post-Distribution Certifies the distribution of plan assets has PBGC No later than the 30th day after distribu- Certification for Distress been properly completed for a plan that is tion of plan assets completed. (If PBGC Termination sufficient for guaranteed benefits. assesses a penalty, it will do so only to the extent the form is filed more than 90 days after the distribution deadline, including extensions.) Schedule MP - Missing Participants Advises of a participant or beneficiary PBGC Filed with Form 602. (See above for under a terminating plan whom the plan the time limits.) administrator cannot locate. (This assumes plan is sufficient for guaranteed benefits.) Section 4: Other Reports (for covered single-employer defined benefit plans) Document Type of Information T Whom o When Form 10 - Post-Event Notice of Requires submission of information relating PBGC No later than 30 days after plan Reportable Events to event, plan, and controlled group for: administrator or contributing sponsor failure to make a required minimum funding knows (or has reason to know) the payment, active participant reduction, event has occurred. (Extensions may change in contributing sponsor or apply.) controlled group, application for funding waiver, liquidation, bankruptcy, and various other events. See ERISA § 4043 and 29 CFR Part 4043. Form 10-Advance - Advance Notice Requires submission of information relating PBGC At least 30 days in advance of effective of Reportable Events to event, plan, and controlled group for: date of event. (Extensions may apply.) change in contributing sponsor or controlled group, liquidation, loan default, transfer of benefit liabilities, and various other events. This requirement applies to privately held controlled groups with plans having aggregate unfunded vested benefits over $50 million and an aggregate funded vested percentage under 90 percent. See ERISA § 4043 and 29 CFR Part 4043. Form 200 - Notice of Failure to Requires submission of information relating PBGC No later than 10 days after contribution Make Required Contributions to plan and controlled group where plan due date. has aggregate missed contributions of more than $1 million. See ERISA § 302(f)(4) and 29 CFR Part 4043, subparts A and D.12
  14. 14. Document Type of Information T Whom o WhenReporting of Substantial Cessation of Advises PBGC of certain cessations of PBGC No later than 60 days after event.Operation and of Withdrawal of operation and of withdrawals of substan-Substantial Employer tial employers and requests determination of liability. See ERISA §§ 4062(e) and 4063(a). Requires submission of actuarial and No later than 105 days after the closeAnnual Financial and Actuarial PBGC financial information for certain con- of the filer’s information year, with aInformation Reporting trolled groups with substantial possible extension for certain required underfunding. See ERISA § 4010 and 29 actuarial information until 15 days after CFR Part 4010. filing deadline for annual report (Form 5500). 13
  15. 15. Overview of Form 5500 and Form M-1 Annual Reporting RequirementsForm 5500 Annual Reporting Requirements Certain employee benefit plans are exempt from the annual reporting requirements or are eligible for limited reporting options. The majorEBSA, in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the classes of plans exempt from filing an annual report or eligible forPBGC, publishes the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report forms used by limited reporting are described in the Form 5500 instructions.plan administrators to satisfy various annual reporting obligationsunder ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code (Code). The Form 5500 filed by plan administrators and GIAs are due by the last day of the 7th calendar month after the end of the plan or GIA yearFor the 2007 and 2008 plan years, filers will continue to use the ERISA (not to exceed 12 months in length). See the Form 5500 instructions forFiling Acceptance System (EFAST), unless otherwise directed. There are information on extensions. The Form 5500 filed by DFEs other thantwo formats for filing the Form 5500 in EFAST.* The first format, GIAs are due no later than 91/2 months after the end of the DFE year.“machine print,” is completed using computer software from EFAST-approved vendors and can be filed electronically or by mail, including Two quick reference charts from the 2008 Form 5500 immediatelycertain private delivery services. The other format, “hand print,” may follow this section and describe the basic filing requirements for smallbe completed by typewriter, by hand, or by using computer software plans, large plans, and DFEs. The two charts are: Pension and Welfarefrom EFAST approved vendors, and may be filed only by mail, includ- Benefit Plan Form 5500 Quick Reference Chart on pages 15 and 16, anding certain private delivery services. Beginning in the 2009 reporting DFE Form 5500 Quick Reference Chart on page 17. Check the EFASTyear, Form 5500 filing and processing will be wholly electronic. Filers Internet site at www.efast.dol.gov and the latest Form 5500 instruc-will be able to complete Form 5500s online using a Web-based interface tions for information on who is required to file, how to complete theor continue to use third-party developed software. For more informa- forms, when to file, EFAST approved software, and electronic filingtion about electronic filing under EFAST2, see www.efast.dol.gov. options. Also check the EFAST Internet site for Form 5500s, Schedules, and Instructions for reporting years prior to 2008, if you are submittingThe Form 5500 filing requirements vary according to the type of filer. a late or amended filing.There are three general types of filers: small plans (generally planswith fewer than 100 participants as of the beginning of the plan year);large plans (generally plans with 100 or more participants as of the Form M-1 Annual Reporting Requirementsbeginning of the plan year); and direct filing entities (DFEs). DFEs aretrusts, accounts, and other investment or insurance arrangements that Administrators of multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs)plans participate in and that are required to or allowed to file the Form and certain other entities that offer or provide coverage for medical5500 directly with EBSA. These investment and insurance arrange- care to employees of two or more employers are generally required toments include master trust investment accounts (MTIAs), common/ file the Form M-1 (Report for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangementscollective trusts (CCTs), pooled separate accounts (PSAs), 103-12 (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming Exception (ECEs)). The Forminvestment entities (103-12 IEs), and group insurance arrangements M-1 is filed with EBSA and can be filed online at(GIAs). MTIAs are the only DFE for which the filing of the Form 5500 is http://www.askebsa.dol.gov/mewa. The Form M-1 is generallymandatory. Employee benefit plans that participate in CCTs, PSAs, due no later than March 1, following any calendar year for which a103-12 IEs, and GIAs that file as DFEs are eligible for certain annual filing is required. A quick reference chart on Reporting Requirements forreporting relief. MEWAs and ECEs is on page 18. Also, check the EBSA Internet site at www.dol.gov/ebsa for more information on the Form M-1.* For plan years and DFE reporting years beginning January 1, 2008, all Forms 5500 Annual Return/Report must be filed electronically. See 71 FR 41359 (July 21, 2006).14
  16. 16. 1* Section 1: Pension and Welfare Benefit Plan Quick Reference Chart: Form 5500, Schedules and Attachments Large Pension Plan Small Pension Plan Large Welfare Plan Small Welfare Plan Form 5500 Must complete.2 Must complete. **2 Must complete. Must complete. **3 Schedule A - Must complete if plan has Must complete if plan has Must complete if plan has Must complete if plan has Insurance Information insurance contracts for benefits insurance contracts for benefits insurance contracts for benefits insurance contracts for or investments. or investments. or investments. benefits3 or investments. Schedule C - Must complete if service Not required. Must complete if service Not required. Service Provider Information provider was paid $5,000 or provider was paid $5,000 or more or an accountant or more or an accountant or enrolled actuary was terminated. enrolled actuary was terminated. Schedule D - Must complete Part I if plan Must complete Part I if plan Must complete Part I if plan Must complete Part I if plan DFE/Participating Plan participated in a CCT, PSA, participated in a CCT, PSA, participated in a CCT, PSA, participated in a CCT, PSA, Information MTIA, or 103-12 IE. MTIA, or 103-12 IE. MTIA, or 103-12 IE. MTIA, or 103-12 IE. Schedule E - Must complete if ESOP. Must complete if ESOP. Not required. Not required. ESOP Annual Information4 Schedule G - Must complete if Schedule H, Not required. Must complete if Schedule H, Not required. Financial Transaction line 4b, 4c, or 4d is marked line 4b, 4c, or 4d is marked Schedules “Yes.”5 “Yes.”5, 6 Schedule H - Must complete.2, 5 Not required. Must complete.5, 7 Not required. Large Plan and DFE Financial Information Schedule I - Not required. Must complete.2 Not required. Must complete.3 Small Plan Financial Information Schedule MB - Must complete if a Must complete if a Not required. Not required. Multiemployer Defined multiemployer defined benefit multiemployer defined benefit Benefit Plan and Certain plan subject to minimum funding plan subject to minimum funding Money Purchase Plan standards or a money purchase standards or a money purchase Actuarial Information defined contribution plan defined contribution plan (including a target benefit plan) (including a target benefit plan) that is amortizing a funding that is amortizing a funding waiver. waiver.*See footnotes for certain exemptions and other technical requirements. All footnotes for this section are on page 16.**For the 2007 and 2008 plan years, certain plans with fewer than 25 participants as of the beginning of the plan year may be eligible for a simplified reporting option. Starting with the2009 plan year, certain plans with fewer than 100 participants as of the beginning of the 2009 plan year may be eligible to use the new Form 5500-SF. See Instructions. 15
  17. 17. Large Pension Plan Small Pension Plan Large Welfare Plan Small Welfare Plan Schedule R - Must complete, unless exempt.8 Must complete, unless exempt.8 Not required. Not required. Retirement Plan Information Schedule SB - Must complete if a single- Must complete if a single- Not required. Not required. Single-Employer Defined employer or multiple-employer employer or multiple-employer Benefit Plan Actuarial defined benefit plan subject to defined benefit plan subject to Information minimum funding standards. minimum funding standards. Schedule SSA - Must complete if plan had Must complete if plan had Not required. Not required. Annual Registration Statement separated participants with separated participants with Identifying Separated deferred vested benefits to deferred vested benefits to Participants with Deferred report. report. Vested Benefits4 Independent Qualified Public Must attach. 2, 9 Not required unless Schedule I, Must attach.7, 9 Not required. Accountant’s Report line 4k, is checked “No.”91 This chart provides only general guidance and not all rules and requirements are reflected. Refer to specific Form 5500 instructions for complete information on filing requirements.2 Pension plans are exempt from filing any schedules and the independent qualified public accountant’s report if the plan uses a Code section 408 individual retirement account or annuity as the sole funding vehicle for providing benefits. Pension benefit plans providing benefits exclusively through an insurance contract or contracts that are fully guaranteed and that meet all of the conditions of 29 § CFR 2520.104-44(b)(2) during the entire plan year are exempt from filing Schedule H, Schedule I, and the independent qualified public accountant’s report. For plan years prior to those commencing on January 1, 2009, plans funded solely through Code section 403(b)(1) annuity and/or 403(b)(7) custodial accounts are also exempt from filing any schedules and the independent qualified public accountant’s report. Such plans are not exempt for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2009.3 Unfunded, fully insured and combination unfunded/insured welfare plans covering fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year that meet the requirements of 29 CFR § 2520.104-20 are exempt from filing an annual report.4 The Schedule E and Schedule SSA are not part of the Form 5500 filing for plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2009. For more information on how to file the information previously collected on the Schedule SSA (Form 5500) for plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2009, see www.irs.gov.5 Must also complete schedules of assets and reportable (5 percent) transactions if Schedule H, line 4i or 4j is marked “Yes.”6 Must complete Schedule G to report any nonexempt transactions even if Schedule H is not required.7 Unfunded, fully insured and combination unfunded/insured welfare plans covering 100 or more participants at the beginning of the plan year are exempt under 29 CFR § 2520.104-44 from the accountant’s report requirement and completing Schedule H.8 Must complete if a defined benefit plan or plan is otherwise subject to the minimum funding standards under Code section 412 or ERISA section 302. See Schedule R instructions for further explanation and for conditions that exempt a pension plan from filing the Schedule R.9 For information on the requirements for deferring an accountant’s report pursuant to 29 CFR § 2520.104-50 in connection with a short plan year of 7 months or less and the contents of the required explanatory statement, see the Form 5500 instructions. 16
  18. 18. 1 Section 2: DFE Quick Reference Chart: Form 5500, Schedules and Attachments MTIA CCT or PSA 103-12 IE GIA Form 5500 Must complete.2 Must complete if filing as a DFE.2 Must complete if filing as a DFE.2 Must complete if filing as a DFE.2 Schedule A - Must complete if MTIA has Not required. Must complete if 103-12 IE has Must complete. Insurance Information insurance contracts. insurance contracts. Schedule C - Must complete Part I if service Not required. Must complete Part I if service Must complete Part I if service Service Provider provider was paid $5,000 or provider was paid $5,000 or provider was paid $5,000 or Information more. Part II not required. more and Part II if an accountant more and Part II if an was terminated. accountant was terminated. Schedule D - List all plans that participated in List all plans that participated in List all plans that participated in List all plans that participated in DFE/Participating Plan the MTIA in Part II. List all the CCT or PSA in Part II. List all the 103-12 IE in Part II. List all the GIA in Part II. List all Information CCTs, PSAs, and 103-12 IEs in CCTs, PSAs, and 103-12 IEs in CCTs, PSAs, and 103-12 IEs in CCTs, PSAs and 103-12 IEs in which the MTIA participated or which the CCT or PSA partici- which the 103-12 IE participated which the GIA participated or invested during the MTIA year pated or invested during the CCT or invested during the 103-12 IE invested during the GIA year in Part I. or PSA year in Part I. year in Part I. in Part I. Schedule G - Must complete if Schedule H, Not required. Must complete if Schedule H, Must complete if Schedule H, Financial Transaction line 4b, 4c, or 4d is checked line 4b, 4c, or 4d is checked line 4b, 4c, or 4d is checked Schedules “Yes.” “Yes.” “Yes.” Schedule H - Must complete Parts I, II, III, Must complete Parts I, II, and III. Must complete Parts I, II, III, Must complete Parts I, II, III, Large Plan and DFE and IV. Skip Part IV. and IV. and IV. Financial Information Schedules of Assets and Must complete if Schedule H, Not required. Must complete Schedules of Must complete if Schedule H, Reportable (5 percent) line 4i or 4j is checked “Yes.” Assets if Schedule H, line 4i, is line 4i or 4j is checked “Yes.” Transactions See Schedule H instructions. checked “Yes.” Schedule of See Schedule H instructions. Reportable (5 percent) Transactions not required. See Schedule H instructions. Independent Qualified Not required. Not required. Must attach. Must attach. Public Accountant’s Report1 This chart provides only general guidance and not all rules and requirements are reflected. Refer to specific Form 5500 instructions for complete information on filing require-ments.2 An MTIA is the only DFE for which the filing of the Form 5500 is mandatory. Employee benefit plans that participate in CCTs, PSAs, 103-12 IEs, and GIAs that file as DFEs areeligible for certain annual reporting relief. 17
  19. 19. 1 Section 3: MEWAs and ECEs Quick Reference Chart: Form M-1 Document Type of Information To Whom When Form M-1 MEWA or ECE identifying information. EBSA Annual Report: Generally due by Report for Multiple Employer States in which coverage is provided, March 1st of the year following the Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) insurance information, number of calendar year for which report is and Certain Entities Claiming participants covered, and information required. A 60-day extension is Exception (ECEs) about compliance with Part 7 of ERISA, available. For ECEs, an annual report is including any litigation alleging non- required to be filed only if the ECE was compliance. last originated within 3 years before annual filing due date. Administrators of MEWAs and ECEs that Origination Report: Due within 90 days offer or provide coverage for medical care of origination. to employees of two or more employers (including one or more self-employed “Origination” generally occurs when: individuals) are generally required to file (1) the MEWA or ECE first begins the Form M-1. offering or providing coverage; (2) the MEWA or ECE begins offering or An ECE is an entity that claims it is not a providing coverage after a merger MEWA due to the exception in the (unless all MEWAs or ECEs involved definition of MEWA for entities that are in the merger were last originated at established and maintained under or least 3 years prior to the merger); or (3) pursuant to one or more agreements that the number of employees to which the the Secretary of Labor finds to be MEWA offers or provides coverage collective bargaining agreements. For has grown at least 50 percent. There- more information on this exception, see fore, a MEWA or ECE may be origi- nated more than once. 29 CFR § 2510.3-40.1 This chart provides only general guidance and not all rules and requirements are reflected.18
  20. 20. EBSA Resources PBGC ResourcesFor more information about EBSA’s reporting and disclosure requirements, For information about PBGC’s reporting and disclosure requirements,contact: call 1-800-736-2444 or (202) 326-4242.U.S. Department of Labor For premium-related questions, send an e-mail toEmployee Benefits Security Administration premiums@pbgc.gov or write to:200 Constitution Ave., N.W.Washington, DC 20210 PBGC1-866-444-EBSA (3272) Dept. 77840Web site: www.dol.gov/ebsa P.O. Box 77000 Detroit, MI 48277-0840For assistance on completing the Form 5500, call the EFAST Help Line at1-866-463-3278. For questions on standard terminations, send an e-mail to standard@pbgc.gov or write to:For assistance on completing the Form M-1, call (202) 693-8360. Pension Benefit Guaranty CorporationThe following publications may be helpful in providing a more detailed Standard Termination Compliance Division/explanation on specific subject matter: Processing and Technical Assistance Branch 1200 K St., N.W., Suite 930An Employer’s Guide to Group Health Continuation Coverage Washington, DC 20005-4026Under COBRA For questions on distress terminations and reportable events, send an Provides a general explanation of the COBRA right to purchase a e-mail to distress.term@pbgc.gov, advance.report@pbgc.gov (for temporary extension of group health insurance. advance questions), or post-event.report@pbgc.gov (for post-event questions), or write to:QDROs: The Division of Retirement Benefits ThroughQualified Domestic Relations Orders Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Dept. of Insurance Supervision and Compliance Addresses the division of retirement benefits during divorce or 1200 K Street N.W., Suite 270 legal separation. Washington, DC 20005-4026Compliance Assistance Guide: For additional information, visit PBGC’s Web site: www.pbgc.gov.Health Benefits Coverage Under Federal Law Describes the obligations of group health plans and group health insurance issuers under Part 7 of Title I of ERISA, including provi- sions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Also includes sample language that may be used to meet disclosure requirements.These and other EBSA publications may be obtained from:Toll-free number: 1- 866-444-EBSA (3272)Web site: www.dol.gov/ebsa 19

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