Form 5500s can bring unique situations to light. Here are some recent research projects that we conducted, along with their outcomes, for your learning experience. We also added questions that we receive on a regular basis to help you develop a more well-rounded understanding of the 5500 world. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to Wrangle, your Form 5500 expert, with any questions.
Question: Where do we go to find past e-filed Form 5500s?
Answer: On the DOL’s EFAST2 Website for eFiled Form 5500s:
To access the signed and e-filed Form 5500, please go to https://www.efast.dol.gov/welcome.html
On the far right, click on “SEARCH”. That will open to a screen where you can enter the EIN for the Plan Sponsor. You will then have access to all of their e-filed Form 5500s.
Question: For self-funded medical plans with run-out claims, when should the final Form 5500 be filed?
Answer: If there is a plan that is terminated and one of the benefits is a self-funded medical plan, you should not complete a final 5500 report until the run-out claims of the medical plan have been paid. This may require a short plan year filing for the year following the termination date. Actively enrolled participants for the final report will be those who still have the outstanding run-out claims.
Question: Does a large trust plan that is on a short plan year filing need to file an IQPA report?
Answer: No. If a trust plan needs to have a short plan year filing, an IQPA report can be deferred until the following year. However, when the full-year report is filed, the Form 5500 must have attached the audit that covers the short year and the full year.
Question: Is a Tribal government plan exempt from filing the Form 5500 if casino employees are also enrolled?
Answer: No. If a Native American/Tribal government shares benefits with both government employees and those from the casino, the plan is no longer exempt and is to file the Form 5500 combining the enrolled participant counts.
Question: Should “collectively-bargained” still be checked on the Form 5500 if it is no longer in place by the end of the Plan Year?
Answer: Yes. If the plan, at one point within the ERISA plan year, was under a collectively-bargained plan, the box to reflect this is to be checked.
Question: Can you combine Schedule As and use one contract number to identify those Schedule As in the 5500?
Answer: Yes. Per the Form 5500 Instructions on page 21: Line 1(d). If individual policies with the same carrier are grouped as a unit for purposes of this report, and the group does not have one identification number, you may use the contract or identification number of one of the individual contracts, provided this number is used consistently to report these contracts as a group and the plan administrator maintains the records necessary to disclose all the individual contract numbers in the group upon request.
Question: The Plan Sponsor has two ERISA Plans and 5500s, but only one Schedule A – can two separate 5500 reports use the same Schedule A?
Answer: The Schedule A can be used for both reports, but it is a good practice to have the individual details available upon request. One approach Wrangle takes is to fully report the Schedule A in each report and notate to the DOL on page four that the carrier was not able to break up the total to allocate to each plan. If the DOL was interested they can come to the Plan Sponsor to have the individual data points, which you would have from your carrier billing reports. A second approach is to take participant counts for each ERISA Plan and calculate out a reasonable share of the commissions and premiums to note on each 5500 Schedule A. We then notate this approach to the DOL in the footnote section on page 4 of the Schedule A.
Note on Wrangle’s Approach to Schedule As:
Our approaches still uphold the specific instruction from the DOL on page 1 of the instructions as notated below. As an added safety net, our technical consultant, Ann McAdam, has spoken with the DOL on our approaches and was given the green light by a rep who has worked for the DOL for over 20 years and worked with Wrangle for 6 years.
Each Form 5500 must accurately reflect the characteristics and operations that applied during the reporting year of the plan or arrangement
Question: Are wellness plans required to provide a Schedule A?
Answer: Wellness companies that provide medical care under a fully-insured arrangement are required to provide a Schedule A (assuming that the benefit is listed in the Plan Document/ SPD). Please see the following:
In considering ERISA’s application to a wellness program that included a physical examination plus other, unspecified benefits—which the employer characterized as merely “diagnostic or preventative” and not including treatment—the DOL issued an information letter rejecting the assertion that the term “medical” should be construed narrowly to apply only to “benefits of a medically remedial nature.” Under this reasoning, many wellness programs will qualify as group health plans (and will be subject to ERISA).
-Source: Thomson Reuters’ EBIA
Question: If a plan number was mistakenly used for two 5500s using the same EIN in the same year, can one of the two be deleted on the DOL website?
Answer: No. The DOL never deletes prior e-filed 5500 reports. The best practice is to have documentation in place explaining the error in case the DOL audits down the road. The documentation should support what the 5500 considers to be correct.
Wrangle is available to assist in unique situations. We look at each one on a case-by-case basis. To seek assistance, feel free to contact Ann McAdam, Technical Consultant, at email@example.com.