H&W 5500 Changes Coming Soon!

In July, the Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“Agencies”) jointly released proposed rules that recommend substantial changes to the information that is reported on the Form 5500 and corresponding schedules.  Although the rules will not be effective until the 2019 plan year (reporting in 2020), plan sponsors are encouraged to review the proposed changes to make sure they have systems and processes in place to capture all of the information that, pending approval, is now going to be required.

The proposed revisions reflect efforts to improve benefit plan reporting for filers, the public, and the Agencies.  It has been several years since the Form 5500 has been updated so these changes are intended to modernize the financial information that plans report and enhance the mineability of data that is filed.

Generally, the changes focus on plan investments; service providers and their fees; and, information that relates to what coverage employers provide in their welfare plans.  This coverage information includes data which will document compliance with HIPAA, GINA, MHPAEA and the ACA.  In addition to these changes, the revisions also remove the small plan exemption that currently exists for welfare plans which would mean all employer welfare and retirement plans subject to ERISA would now be subject to these reporting requirements.

Comments on the proposed changes have been requested.  If you wish to submit comments, they must be in writing and must be submitted by October 4, 2016.  Comments should be identified by RIN# 1210-AB63 and can be submitted by any of the following methods (EBSA encourages electronic submission of comments):

  • Email:

    Include RIN 1210–AB63 in the subject line of the message
  • Mail:
    Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration
    Attn: RIN 1210–AB63
    Annual Reporting and Disclosure
    Room N–5655,
    S. Department of Labor,
    200 Constitution Avenue NW.
    Washington, DC 20210.



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