401k Form 5500 Made (Hopefully) Easier

Comment deadline extended to Dec. 5

Have at it! DOL wants to know what you think about Form 5500.Have at it! DOL wants to know what you think about Form 5500.

Sometimes we think the 5500 stands for the number of head scratches plan sponsors experience when deciphering the form. But don’t worry, the government is here to help.

The Department of Labor has announced a two-month extension of the comment period on the Form 5500 Modernization Proposals. The proposals are listed along with a “re-compete” of its electronic filing system maintained and operated by third-party vendors.

“The Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation published a Notice of Proposed Revision of Annual Information Return/Reports in the Federal Register on July 21, 2016,” according to the DOL. “The department also published a separate, but related Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the same day.”

The forms revisions and amendments were proposed as part of a project to “improve and modernize Form 5500 annual return/reports filed by employee benefit plans.”

The revisions and regulatory amendments generally are being coordinated with a re-compete of the contract for the ERISA Filing Acceptance System II—the wholly electronic system, commonly known as EFAST2, that is operated by a private-sector contractor for the processing of Form 5500/5500-SF return/reports.

A “range” of stakeholder groups asked for an extension of time to submit comments given the scope and significance of the revisions.

The DOL, IRS and PBGC decided to extend the public comment from the original Oct. 4, 2016 deadline to the new Dec. 5, 2016, deadline.

“The result will be a total of almost five months for interested persons to prepare and submit comments. This step is intended to facilitate robust and thoughtful public input on the proposals while respecting the need to keep the rule-making aspects of the project moving forward and on pace with procurement and system development objectives to recompete the contract acquisition plan.”

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