The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently released advance informational copies of the 2019 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and related instructions. The “Changes to Note” section of the 2019 instructions highlights important modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF, as well as to their schedules and instructions. Modifications are as follows:
- Administrative Penalties: The instructions have been updated to reflect an increase to $2,194 per day in the maximum civil penalty amount assessable under Employee Retirement Income Security Act section 502(c)(2), as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The increased penalty under section 502(c)(2) is applicable for civil penalties assessed after January 23, 2019, whose associated violation(s) occurred after November 2, 2015. (84 FR 213 (January 23, 2019)).
- Form 5500, Line 2d: The instructions to line 2d of the Form 5500 have been clarified on how to report the plan sponsor’s business code for multi-employer plans;
- Schedule H Part III- Accountant’s Opinion: The instructions for lines 3a(1), 3a(2), 3a(3), and 3a(4) have been revised to align with the language in the clarified generally accepted auditing standards, AU-C 700, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements and AU-C 705, Modifications to the Opinion in the Independent Auditor’s Report;
- Schedule SB Mortality Tables: Line 23 has been revised to eliminate mortality table options that are not available after 2018;
- Schedule R: A new line 20 has been added to obtain information related to PBGC reporting requirements resulting from unpaid minimum required contributions. Only PBGC-insured single-employer plans are required to provide this additional information; and
- Form 5500-SF: A new line 11b has been added to the Form 5500-SF that parallels the new Schedule R, line 20 for PBGC-insured, single-employer plans that file the Form 5500-SF instead of the Form 5500.
The advance copies of the 2019 Form 5500 are for informational purposes only and cannot be used to file a 2019 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 by filing electronically the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF and any required attachments under the all electronic EFAST2 system for submission, receipt, and processing of the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF.
For your information, copies of the forms, schedules and instructions are available on the EBSA website.
Filers should monitor the EFAST website for the availability of the official electronic versions for filing using EFAST-approved software or directly through the EFAST website. Assistance with the EFAST2 system is available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/employers-and-advisers/plan-administration-and-compliance/reporting-and-filing/forms/efast2-form-5500-filing-tips or by calling 1-866-463-3278.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.