The preparation process is designed to be simple and efficient for the employer. First, the employer (or broker on employer’s behalf) completes and provides to ProBenefits a Form 5500 Data Gathering Form confirming which ERISA benefits are to be filed along with applicable data and Schedules (Schedule A, Schedule C, etc.). ProBenefits generates the Form 5500 and provides the employer contact with access to an electronic portal where the authorized individual(s) can review and submit the Form. ProBenefits supplies filing instructions and assistance for ease of use. Finally, ProBenefits monitors submission and receipt by the Department of Labor, and ProBenefits generates and provides a Summary Annual Report ("SAR") for the employer to approve and distribute as required.
For a fee schedule or specific quote, contact us. Our standard fee is $150 per applicable Schedule, with the base Form 5500(s) included. The minimum annual fee for services is $300. A formal quote will be provided at the time of inquiry.
Background and Filing Deadlines
Form 5500s are required for all ERISA plans maintained by the employer that are not otherwise exempt (such as for governmental or church-affiliated employers). Typically, welfare benefit plans with fewer than 100 participants on the first day of the plan year are exempt from filing. ERISA requires that non-exempt plans file Form 5500s by the end of the seventh month following the plan year. (For calendar year plans, this means the Form must be submitted to the DOL by July 31 of the following year.) An automatic 2 ½ month extension can be granted by completing and mailing Form 5558 to the IRS prior to the due date of the Form 5500. You can learn more by reading this blog entry on Form 5500 reporting.
Beginning with 2009 plans, Form 5500s are required to be filed electronically through the Department of Labor's EFAST2 program. As a plan sponsor, you are required to obtain signing credentials by completing an internet registration on the Department of Labor’s website referenced above and clicking “Register” on the left-hand panel. When registering for credentials, if you are using the ProBenefits service, you should only need to register as a “Filing Signer.” If you need assistance with getting credentials, contact us and we will provide detailed instructions.
This service is a stand-alone product and an employer is not required to utilize other services that ProBenefits offers to have access to our 5500 preparation service. If an employer would like to utilize the service, the employer needs to submit the applicable current year data and Schedules as soon as they become available or within 30 days of the filing deadline. Finally, by way of disclaimer, ProBenefits is not an accounting or law firm and does not provide formal accounting or legal advice.
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