DOL Releases Updated Versions of Form 5500

The agency has also highlighted important modifications to the form.

The Department of Labor (DOL)’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have released advance informational copies of the 2020 Form 5500, including the Form 5500-SF and the IRS Form 5500-EZ, which now also appear on the EBSA website.

The instructions for each of the forms highlight important modifications to the forms, as well as their schedules and instructions.

The Form 5500-SF can no longer be used by a one-participant plan or a foreign plan in place of filing of the Form 5500-EZ with the IRS. Effective for plan years beginning after 2019, one-participant plans and foreign plans can file the Form 5500-EZ electronically using the EFAST2 filing system.

There is also an increase to $2,233 per day in the maximum civil penalty amount assessable under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Section 502 (c)(2), as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

To conform to the new Statement on Auditing Standards 136, “Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA,” the instructions for questions on line 3a regarding the accountant’s opinion have been revised. Line 3b and its instructions have also been updated to permit filers to indicate more accurately whether there have been any permissible limitations on the scope of the audit pursuant to the DOL’s regulations.

The instructions for Schedules H and I, line 41, and Form 5500-SF, line 10f have been revised to reflect the increase in the required minimum distribution (RMD) age from 70.5 to 72 to conform to the new rules in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act.

Line 5c in Schedules H and I has been revised to make clear that if the plan was covered by PBGC at any time during the plan year, filers should check the “Yes” box.

In Schedule R, line 14 has been revised to provide multiemployer plans with a choice of three counting methods to count inactive participants and to require that an attachment be provided depending on the counting method chosen.

Informational copies of the forms, schedules and instructions are available on the EBSA website.