(b)lines Ask the Experts – Must Form 8955-SSA Be Filed Electronically?

“I have received conflicting information as to whether Form 8955-SSA is required to be filed electronically. Can the Experts clarify?”

Stacey Bradford, David Levine and David Powell, with Groom Law Group, and Michael A. Webb, vice president, Retirement Plan Services, Cammack Retirement Group, answer: 

Absolutely! For those who may not know, the Form 8955-SSA is a required filing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for those who are required to file a Form 5500 with the Department of Labor (DOL). It is used to report participants who separated from service with a vested benefit, but did not receive a full distribution. The IRS shares the information reported on the form with the Social Security Administration, which in turn notifies such individuals at retirement age of any potential retirement benefits under plans of prior employers that they might have forgotten.

As for electronic filing, it is not required for many plans. However, for large filers that file at least 250 returns of any type with the IRS in a calendar year, electronic filing is indeed required. It should be noted that the DOL’s EFAST2 electronic filing system is NOT used to file the Form 8955-SSA. Instead the form must be filed via the IRS’ electronic filing system, known as FIRE. Of course, even if you are not required to file your Form 8955-SSA electronically, you may elect to do so.

For complete details about Form 8955-SSA, please see our prior Ask the Experts column about the subject.


NOTE: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.  

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