Final Form 5500 Revisions Guidance Issued

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have released final forms revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan and Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, and related instructions, that apply to plan year reports beginning on or after January 1, 2022. A proposed rule was issued last September.

This guidance focuses primarily on defined benefit reporting changes affecting Schedule MB Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plan and Certain Money Purchase Plan Actuarial Information, Schedule SB Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plan Actuarial Information, and Schedule R Retirement Plan Information. Additionally, the final revisions add plan characteristic codes reported on Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF by sponsors of multiple employer plans (MEPs), to indicate the type of MEP arrangement.

The agencies are evaluating public comments on elements of the September 2021 proposal related to DCG reporting under the SECURE Act and related audit issues, Schedule MEP reporting requirements, financial improvements to the Schedule H, changes in participant counts related to plan audit requirements, reporting for multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) that file Form M-1, and questions on pension plan compliance. The agencies indicate they believe stakeholders are best served by taking additional time to consider proposals and will either publish an additional notice at a later date or re-propose modifications with other annual reporting requirement improvements.