EFAST2 Adds Signature Option

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has announced that the EFAST2 electronic filing system for Forms 5500 and 5500-SF employee benefit plan annual reports has a new e-signature option.

A news release said service providers that manage the filing process for plans can get their own signing credentials and submit the electronic Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the plan.

The service provider must confirm it has specific written authorization from the plan administrator to submit the plan’s electronic filing, and the administrator must manually sign a paper copy of the completed filing. The service provider must attach a PDF copy of the manually signed Form 5500 or 5500-SF as an attachment to the electronic filing submitted to EFAST2.

Also, the service provider must communicate to the plan administrator any inquiries received from EFAST2, the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, or the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. regarding the filing, and inform the plan administrator that, by electing to use this option, the image of the plan administrator’s manual signature will be included with the rest of the annual return/report posted on the Internet.

The additional e-signature option will be available in the government-sponsored IFILE application beginning May 13.  Filers using EFAST2 approved software to complete and file the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF should contact their software vendors for information regarding availability of this new e-signature option as part of their software.

Effective Jan. 1, retirement and welfare plans required to file an annual Form 5500 or 5500-SF must file electronically using the department’s new EFAST2 electronic filing system.

More information is available at www.efast.dol.gov