Form 5500 – Do You Need to File?– February 10, 2014 by Angel Rice

We find that many businesses are not always aware of the potential requirement to file Form 5500 each year; the form details financial conditions, investments and operations of benefit plans, as required by ERISA and the IRS. The fact is, if you have more than 100 employees who participate in your health and welfare, or “fringe,” benefit plans, you are required to file annually.

Plan sponsors generally must file the return on the last day of the seventh month after their plan year ends, which is July 31 for plan years ending December 31. It is important to note that although there generally is a third party administrator (TPA) who files Form 5500 for a company’s retirement plans, there generally is not a TPA involved with welfare benefit plans. Therefore, unless you are filing Form 5500 on your own behalf or have communicated with your accountants, it is very likely that it is not being filed.

To ensure you meet the filing deadline, now is the time to contact your accounting team with the key information detailed below.

If you have filed Form 5500 for 2012 or prior years

  • Talk with your advisors to discuss which benefits you offer through which insurance carriers, how many people participate in that benefit and if there have been any changes from prior years.
  • Soon you should be receiving information from your insurance company in the form of a Schedule A for each benefit offered. Forward copies of any Schedule A’s as well as a copy of your wrap document, if you have one, to your service team as soon as possible.

If you have not filed Form 5500 for 2012 or prior years

  • Do you offer health and welfare (fringe) benefits to your employees? If so, do you have more than 100 employees who participate? If the answers to both of these questions are “yes,” contact your service team and provide them with the information in the section above. Also inquire as to whether you may qualify for any voluntary compliance programs to minimize penalties from failing to file in previous years.

We want to hear from you! We encourage you to comment below on this blog post, share it on social media or contact Angel Rice at or a member of your service team for further discussion.


This communication is for information only, and any action should only be taken after a detailed review of the specific situation and appropriate consultation.

Notwithstanding that these materials do not constitute legal, accounting or other professional advice, as may be required by United States Treasury Regulations and IRS Circular 230, you should be advised that these materials are not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by you or any other person, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under federal tax laws. No written statement contained in these materials may be used by any person to support the promotion or marketing of or to recommend any federal tax transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed in these materials, and any taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer’s particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor with respect to any such federal tax transaction matter.