As for what’s new, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notes that the Pension Protection Act of 2006 established rules for a new type of pension plan, an “eligible combined plan,” effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2009. Those plans consist of a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan that includes a qualified cash or deferred arrangement under section 401(k), with the assets of the two plans held in a single trust, but clearly identified and allocated between plans.
To be eligible for the combined plan design, the IRS says employers must have employed an average of at least 2 but not more than 500 employees on each business day during the calendar year preceding the plan year as of which the eligible combined plan is established. An employer must have at least 2 employees on the first day of the plan year, going on to note that, “because an eligible combined plan includes both a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan, the Form 5500-EZ filed for the plan must include all the information that would be required for either a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan.”
To reduce the possibility of correspondence and penalties, the IRS reminds filers:
- Use the online, fillable 2010 Form 5500-EZ on the IRS website. Complete and download the form to your computer to print and sign before mailing.
- Or, use the official printed paper Form 5500-EZ obtained from the IRS. Complete the form by hand using only black or blue ink. Be sure to enter your information in the specific line fields provided, sign, and date the form before mailing.
- Or, use approved software, if available.
- Do not use felt tip pens or other writing instruments that can cause signatures or data to bleed through to the other side of the paper. One-sided documents should have no markings on the blank side.
- Paper should be clean without glue or other sticky substances.
- Do not submit extraneous information such as arrows or notes on the form.
The IRS also notes that a one-participant plan that is eligible to file Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan, may elect to file Form 5500-SF electronically with the computerized ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST2) rather than filing a Form 5500-EZ on paper with the IRS.
Questions regarding the form can be addressed via the IRS Help Line at 1-877-829-5500, Monday through Friday.
The form is available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5500ez.pdf
More information is available at http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i5500ez/ar01.html