New Proposed Rule for Employee Benefit Plans

Posted by Bethany Moore on 8/5/16 2:28 PM

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flag_blue.jpgOn July 21, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) published a proposed rule on annual reporting and disclosure, which describes revisions to the Form 5500. The Form 5500 is an annual report filed by pension, health, and other employee benefit plans that fulfills reporting requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Through this form, plans report key financial and operational information. This information, in turn, provides key disclosures to plan participants and beneficiaries. Since it is the main source of information on employer sponsored benefit plans in the United States, its data is used extensively by researchers, regulators, and policy makers.

At Summit, we worked with the Form 5500 for over six years while supporting the EBSA. We analyzed Form 5500 filings to understand trends in specific populations of filers, to assess the quality of audits performed for benefit plans, and to estimate plans’ risk of violating ERISA.  

Some of the key revisions in this proposed rule include:

  • Extension of filing requirements to cover a larger population of group health plans
  • More specificity on the data collected regarding service provider fees

Our team is excited to learn more about the proposed rule over the coming months. In a future blog post, we plan to examine how these changes could impact analytical work. 

Public comments on the proposed revisions are due by October 4, 2016, and the proposed rule can be accessed via the Federal Register. The revised Form 5500 is expected to take effect in 2020 as plans file for the 2019 plan year.  

Topics: Summit Blog

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