Sponsors of retirement plans are required by law to report information to the IRS, the Department of Labor (DOL), and Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Your plan type, business size, and circumstances affect the type of information, forms, and disclosure requirements.
Basic reporting and disclosure requirements for retirement plans under the Internal Revenue Code and provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) are administered by the IRS.
Among the annual reports that the IRS wants filed are:
- Form 5500, which provides information on the plan’s qualification and financial condition, as well as the operation of the plan. If you are on a calendar-year plan, you will need to file Form 5500 by July 31.
- Form 5500-SF is a short form version intended for small employee benefit plans, although larger employers can use it for very basic plan. It is a simplified annual reporting form for businesses with fewer than 100 participants.
- Form 5500-EZ is used for one-participant retirement plans for owners and their spouses.
- Form 1099-R is necessary for distributions of $10 or more from pensions, annuities, retirement plans, or profit-sharing plans. You will have to send the information to the individual receiving the distribution, the payee, by January 31 and the IRS by February 28 if on paper or March 31 if filed electronically.
- Form 5558 is used to apply for an extension of time in filing certain employee plan returns.
- Form 5498 is for IRA contribution information and needs to be reported for each person you are maintaining an IRA for, including SEP or SIMPLE IRAs.
In addition to responsibilities regarding the IRS, there are reporting and disclosures to consider for the DOL. Basic disclosure requirements include:
- A summary plan description. This is the primary vehicle for informing participants and beneficiaries about their plan and how it operates.
- The Summary Annual Report is a narrative summary of Form 5500 for the IRS.
- Plan documents. Plan administrators must furnish copies of required documents and have them available for examination if requested.
- Plan service provider disclosures.
- Annual financial and actuarial information reporting. Certain plans must submit key information to the PBGC no later than 105 days after the close of the information year.
There are many other provisions and exceptions, and rules change over time. Contact Leslie Prichard, CPA for compliance questions.