DOL Releases Updated Form 5500

December 5, 2013 ( – The Department of Labor (DOL) has released informational copies of the new Form 5500.

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), released informational copies of the 2013 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions. 

Modifications to Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF, as well as filing schedules and guidelines for plan year 2013, are described under the “Changes to Note” section included in the instructions.

The following is a short rundown and explanation of the changes:

  • A section called “Form M-1 Compliance Information” was added to Form 5500 to reflect final rules adopted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or ACA). These rules increase the DOL’s enforcement authority to protect participants in Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and call for such plans to adhere to enhanced filing requirements. As such, Form 5500 has been updated to include the new section. All welfare plans required to file the Form M-1 must now file the Form 5500 regardless of plan size or type of funding.
  • Schedules H and I were updated to include a PBGC coverage question. A new element “5c” has been added to ask defined benefit pension plan filers whether the plan is covered under the PBGC insurance program. This question replaces Plan Characteristic Code 1G, which was previously used on line 8a of the Form 5500 to identify plans covered by the PBGC insurance program.
  • Schedule SB Instructions have been updated to reflect the provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21). In addition, the instructions for line 11b have been clarified for plans where the valuation date for the prior plan year was not the first day of the plan year.

These advance copies of the 2013 Form 5500 are for informational purposes only, according to the agencies. The copies cannot be used to actually file a 2013 Form 5500 annual return/report. 

Pension and welfare benefit plans that are required to file an annual return/report regarding their financial conditions, investments and operations each year generally satisfy that requirement through the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF. Both forms sometimes require additional attachments. 

The informational copies of the forms, schedules and instructions can be viewed here.