2013 Form 5500 Compliance Update

The 2013 Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, has been updated to include a new requirement that must be completed by all welfare plans.  Additionally, the Form 5500 has been updated relative to those plans required to file a Form M-1, Report for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and certain Entities Claiming Exception (ECEs).

Beginning with the 2013 Form 5500 (plan years ending December 31, 2013 and later), all welfare plan filings must include an attachment that states whether or not the plan is subject to the Form M-1 filing requirements for the plan year.  And yes, this compliance statement must be attached even if the plan is not considered an MEWA or ECE.  If the plan is subject to the M-1 filing requirements, the attached statement must indicate whether or not the plan is currently in compliance with the M-1 filing requirements, as well as provide the Receipt Confirmation Code from the electronic filing of the most recent Form M-1 Annual Report.

Additionally, if the plan is an MEWA or ECE, and is required to file Form M-1, it is now required to file a Form 5500 regardless of plan size or funding arrangement.  The exemption for the filing of a Form 5500 for small unfunded, fully insured, or combination unfunded/fully insured plans under 29 CFR 2520.140-20 of the Code of Federal Regulations no longer is applicable for plans required to file Form M-1.

Lastly, a welfare plan’s failure to comply with these new filing requirements will subject the Form 5500 to being rejected as incomplete, and possibly could lead to the assessment of penalties.

Please contact Gerald F. Nappi or Anthony J. Margiotta of our office if you have any questions about the Form 5500 compliance statement or Form M-1 filing requirements.

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This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax related matter.

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