EBSA Starts List of Approved Software for Form 5500 Filing

The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has begun its list of approved software for use in electronic filing of Form 5500.

Guidance issued in 2007 requires all Form 5500’s to be filed electronically using the agency’s EFAST2 system for plan years beginning on or after 1/1/2009 (see “DoL Announces Changes to 2009 Form 5500”). The only approved software provider so far is ftwilliam.com.

Under the all-electronic EFAST2, filers choose between using EFAST2-approved vendor software or the EFAST2 Web-based filing system (IFILE) to prepare and submit their Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF. Completed forms are submitted via the Internet.

EBSA says EFAST2 electronic credentials must be obtained to sign and/or submit the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF, or to prepare a return/report in IFILE. Electronic credentials can be obtained beginning in January by registering on the EFAST2 Web site, www.efast.dol.gov.

On its Approved Software Web page, EBSA said it “is working closely with commercial software developers to make 5500 electronic filing readily available to anyone interested.” Software developers who wish to design their own electronic filing program should call the EFAST Help Line telephone number, 866-463-3278, for specifications, validation criteria and records layout documents.

More information is available here.