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Recent DOL Notice Requires Electronic Filing of Form 5500s

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued EFAST2. This changes the way Form 5500s are filed. Effective January 1, 2010, EFAST2 requires that all Form 5500s be filed electronically. 

What does this mean for you, the employer/plan sponsor? Employers who are required to file a Form 5500 will still need to gather all required data, just as they have done in the past.  However, employers will also need to be credentialed on the EFAST2 Web site as the Filing Signer in order to access, sign and transmit the electronic filing to the DOL.

As part of the credentialing process, employers will be assigned a PIN, and they must agree not to disclose or share the PIN. Since this process provides an electronic signature, this information is not transferrable. These credentials may be obtained on the DOL Web site. Those employers who have requested WageWorks Form 5500 preparation services should look for additional communication as the filing deadline for their plan approaches.

The EFAST2 filing mandate also covers Form 5558 (an extension of time to file the Form 5500). The Form 5558 will no longer be included with the Form 5500 filing. If an extension of time to file is required, it will be printed and mailed to the IRS, but the EFAST2 rules no longer require a copy to be sent with the Form 5500 filing.

EFAST2 promises to accelerate the filing process, provide more timely public disclosure, and quick acceptance of the Form 5500 by the DOL. For example, e-filing allows the DOL to know whether or not a plan has filed its 5500 the day following the filing deadline.  This means that delinquency letters can be mailed almost immediately, assessing penalties if the DOL so chooses.  Employers are encouraged to file early. For more information on how to register for EFAST2 credentials and other details as to how EFAST2 will affect your plan’s filing process, the DOL released an FAQ available athttp://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-EFAST2.html.

Contact your account representative if you have questions about your Form 5500 filing requirements.