Information Copies of the 2019 Form 5500 Published

The associated instructions have also been updated to reflect, among other changes, an increase to $2,194 per day in the maximum civil penalty amount assessable under ERISA Section 502(c)(2).

In concert with the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released advance informational copies of the 2019 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and related instructions.

The “Changes to Note” section of the 2019 instructions highlights important modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF, as well as to their schedules and instructions.

As required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, the instructions have been updated to reflect an increase to $2,194 per day in the maximum civil penalty amount assessable under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Section 502(c)(2). Technically, the increased penalty under section 502(c)(2) is applicable for civil penalties assessed after January 23, 2019, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

The advance copies of the 2019 Form 5500 are for informational purposes only and cannot be used to file a 2019 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report.

Other notable changes include the following:

  • Form 5500, Line 2d – The instructions to line 2d of the Form 5500 have been clarified on how to report the plan sponsor’s business code for multiemployer plans.
  • Schedule H Part III / Accountant’s Opinion – The instructions for lines 3a(1), 3a(2), 3a(3), and 3a(4) have been revised to align with the language in the clarified generally accepted auditing standards, AU-C 700, “Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements,” and AU-C 705, “Modifications to the Opinion in the Independent Auditor’s Report.”
  • Schedule SB Mortality Tables – Line 23 has been revised to eliminate mortality table options that are not available after 2018.
  • Schedule R – A new line 20 has been added to obtain information related to PBGC reporting requirements resulting from unpaid minimum required contributions. Only PBGC-insured single-employer plans are required to provide this additional information.
  • Form 5500-SF – A new line 11b has been added to the Form 5500-SF that parallels the new Schedule R, line 20 for PBGC-insured, single-employer plans that file the Form 5500-SF instead of the Form 5500.

The regulators say filers should monitor the EFAST website for the availability of the official electronic versions for filing using EFAST-approved software or directly through the EFAST website.