Determining when to file a Form 5500 as well as deciding on the details to relay within the report may not be as straight-forward as one may have suspected. Wrangle recommends that the Plan Sponsor consults with an ERISA attorney to discuss and evaluate its ERISA Plan, the internal structure of the company as well as state laws that can play a factor.
In the meantime, here are some of the fundamental details to learn on the Health and Welfare Form 5500s.
Health and Welfare Form 5500 Q&A
Per the Department of Labor (DOL) and IRS, this report is required to be e-filed annually by many Plan Sponsors. The requirements for completing the Form 5500 will vary according to the type of plan or arrangement.
Please note: Several payroll practices are specifically excluded from the definition of employee welfare benefit plans (namely overtime, shift, holiday and vacation pay as well as certain time off).
- Form 5500s are due the last day of the 7 th month after the end of the plan year
- Form 5500s can be extended for an additional 2 ½ months, if the extension (Form 5558) is filed prior to the original due date
The SAR is due within nine months after end of the ERISA Plan Year or two months after the filing Form 5500 due date (with an approved extension).
- Small funded plans -Trust plans (unless deemed unfunded Technical Release 92-01)
- A welfare benefit plan that covers 100+ participants* as of the first day of ERISA Plan year such as:
- Large unfunded plans (or deemed unfunded by Technical Release 92-01
- Large insured plans
- Large combination unfunded/insured plans
- Plans required to file Form M-1: MEWAs
- A MEWA is a multiple employer welfare arrangement as defined in section 3(40) of ERISA, and Entities Claiming Exception (ECEs), as defined in 2520.101-2. Generally a MEWA is a plan maintained by two or more employers. However, if the employers are deemed to be a part of the same “controlled group”, they would not be considered a MEWA, but a single employer plan.
- A welfare benefit plan maintained outside the United States for persons substantially all of whom are non-resident aliens
- Governmental Plans
- An unfunded or insured welfare plan for a select group of management
- An employee benefit plan maintained only to comply with workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation or disability insurance laws
- An apprenticeship or training plan
- Church Plans
- A welfare benefit plan that covers fewer than 100 participants* as of the first day of the plan year and is unfunded, fully insured or a combination of insured and unfunded. Starting with the 2013 plan year, this exemption does not apply to a plan that is a MEWA** (all entities that are required to file an M-1 must file a Form 5500).
- the date designated by the plan as the date on which the individual begins participation in the plan;
- the date on which the individual becomes eligible under the plan for a benefit subject only to occurrence of the contingency for which the benefit is provided; or
- the date on which the individual makes a contribution to the plan, whether voluntary or mandatory.
See 29 CFR 2510.3-3(d)(1). This includes former employees who are receiving group health continuation coverage benefits pursuant to Part 6 of ERISA and who are covered by the employee welfare benefit plan. Covered dependents are not counted as participants.
Disclaimer: Wrangle, LLC as well as its employees and affiliates do not offer legal and accounting consultation and services. Information relayed through Wrangle-produced materials serves to provide general information only; whether expressed or implied it is not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, accountant, or other professional advisor. Wrangle applies its best effort to provide accurate and complete results and provides its service in accordance with the ERISA rules that govern Form 5500 completion. This document may contain information that is confidential. Any use, disclosure, distribution, or duplication by anyone other than an intended recipient is prohibited.