Not a Member? Get access to HR news and resources that you can trust.
Here is how HR can help prevent the missteps that could cost your company big in court.
Is your employee handbook ready for the changing world of work? With SHRM’s Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Get the HR education you need without travel expenses or time out of the office.
Expand your influence and learn how to become an effective leader -- Join us in Phoenix, AZ, October 2-4, 2017.
With the start of 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has converted to a total electronic system for online filing of Forms 5500 and the new 5500-Short Form. The all-electronic EFAST2 system lets benefit plan administrators submit and access filings online at
Form 5500, Form 5500-SF and any required attachments are filed each year by more than 1 million retirement and other employee benefit plans to satisfy annual reporting requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code. DOL, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) created the EFAST system to streamline the filing and processing of these forms.
“Now that the EFAST2 system is operational, the federal government and public will for the first time have real time, online access to financial information about private-sector employee benefit plans,” said Phyllis C. Borzi, assistant secretary of the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) in a statement.
The revised EFAST web site has been updated to provide filers with a variety of tools and guidance, including the 2009 and 2010 Form 5500 and new Form 5500-SF schedules and instructions, frequently asked questions, user guides and a tutorial. Filers and preparers can register for an account, complete the required forms and schedules online in multiple sessions, print a copy for their records and submit it at no cost.
Filers may use EFAST2-approved software to complete and submit their filings. EFAST2-approved software is expected to be easier to use and provide more value-added features than an earlier government web application. A list of EFAST2-approved software is available on the web site above.
Filers must submit the 2009 and 2010 annual return/report forms and schedules electronically through EFAST2. Prior year delinquent and amended Form 5500 filings now must be filed electronically, although timely 2008 plan year filings may be filed through the original EFAST on paper until Oct. 15, 2010, or electronically through June 30, 2010.
According to David Wray, president of the
Profit Sharing/401k Council of America (PSCA), plan sponsors should be prepared for both content changes in Form 5500 and the new filing procedure—and recognize that more sponsor involvement will be required.
"From early tests it appears that the new filing system will work and that sponsors will be able to rely on their recordkeepers and TPAs [third-party administers] to submit the report using the new approach," Wray noted in a recent blog
post. "Nevertheless, as both the content and filing changes will result in processes very different from the past, it is important than sponsors contact their recordkeepers and TPAs soon to discuss the Form 5500 filing process with them."
EBSA provides assistance with the EFAST2 system and Forms 5500 and 5500-SF toll-free at 1-866-463-3278.
Important changes regarding filing for 2009 and 2010 Forms 5500 and 5500-SF include:
Stephen Miller is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Be Prepared for the New Form 5500: More Sponsor Involvement Will Be Required,
Profit Sharing/401k Council of America, January 2010
SHRM Online Benefits Discipline
Sign up for SHRM’s free
Compensation & Benefits e-newsletter
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Don’t Lose Sight! What Does Poor Preventive Care Cost Your Business?
CA Resources at Your Fingertips
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies