EBSA Offers Form 5500 Guidance for 403(b) Plans

February 22, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U. S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued new guidance for 403(b) plans subject to new Form 5500 reporting requirements.

Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2010-01 answers many frequently asked questions from the 403(b) community on the new reporting requirements, mainly concerning clarification on the ability to exclude certain custodial accounts and annuity contracts from the reporting (see DoL Provides Relief on Form 5500 Reporting for 403(b) Plans). The FAB also answers many questions on maintaining a “safe harbor arrangement” that is not subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The agency announced it is sending a letter to administrators of the approximately 16,000 403(b) plans subject to ERISA to remind them that their 2009 Form 5500 annual reporting requirements have changed and to direct them to various EBSA resources for help in understanding and complying with the new requirements. The letter also directs administrators to a toll-free Form 5500 help desk that is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (ET) at 866-463-3278.

The EBSA has also published a brochure entitled Getting Ready for Changes in Filing Your Plan’s Annual Return/Report Form 5500.

FAB 2010-01 is here.