Give Me a Little More Time: ASPA

May 30, 2001 ( - If you are feeling a bit pressured on your Form 5500 filing, the American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA) is trying to help.

Qualified plans must complete and file Form 5500 on an annual basis with the Department of Labor (DOL).

ASPA, which represents some 4,200 members who provide actuarial, consulting, administrative, legal and other professional services, has asked the DOL for a blanket extension of time to file the 2000 Form 5500 Series until October 15, 2001 for calendar year plans. 

Those filings would normally be due on or before July 31, 2001 (210 days after the end of the plan year).

Special Request

ASPA is requesting an extension similar to that granted for the 5500s in 1999, and is also asking that plan administrators not have to file a special form (Form 5558) to request that extension. 

Speaking on behalf of its members, which the organization claims perform services for about a third of the retirement plans in the US, ASPA cites the following reasons for the request:

  • A large majority of service providers provide services to plans with a calendar year end, and a common filing deadline (particularly in the small plan market, where many of ASPA’s members are focused);
  • Preparers will need to take time from preparing the 2000 Form 5500 Series to answer EFAST (the DOL’s electronic filing system) inquiries about the 1999 Form 5500 Series – those filings are still being processed;
  • Preparers will potentially have to prepare the 2000 forms without confirmation that their 1999 filings were filed correctly;
  • EFAST-approved software for the 2000 Form 5500 Series was not available until mid-April or later, nearly four months into the filing season, and intermittent software problems persist, according to ASPA members;
  • For any short plan year beginning in 2000, the filing deadline probably occurred before the 2000 Form 5500 Series was available.

– Nevin Adams               

A copy of ASPA’s letter to the DOL is at: