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Health & Welfare 5500 Requirements

July 24, 2017


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has found that some employers who appropriately file Form 5500 for their retirement plans are unaware that filings may be required for their health and welfare benefit plans.

Health and Welfare plans covered by ERISA generally are required to file a Form 5500 Annual Return/Report with the Federal Government. The Form 5500 reports information about the plan, its finances, and its operation. This information is used by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), other government agencies, organizations, and the public. The Form 5500, or an extension (Form 5558), should be filed for plan years ending December 31, 2016 no later than July 31, 2017. An automatic extension of time to file the Form 5500 annual return/report is granted until the due date of the federal income tax return of the employer with a copy of the application for extension of time to file the employer’s federal income tax return.

Depending on the number of participants covered and plan design, there may be exemptions from the full filing requirements. A group health plan with fewer than 100 participants that is either fully insured or self-funded (or a combination of both) does not need to file an annual report. Plans with 100 or more participants that are fully insured or self-funded (or a combination) can file a limited report.

If you think these filing requirement could apply to your company, please contact us for more information in evaluating whether this is your situation. In the event it is, there are voluntary compliance programs available that are much more cost-effective than being forced to comply.