Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Include Elimination of Filing Exemption for Small Group Health Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor and other federal agencies have released two proposed rules revising the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF Annual Returns/Reports that are required to be filed by certain employee benefit plans.

Among other changes, the proposed rules would:

  • Introduce basic reporting requirements for all group health plans that have fewer than 100 participants and are covered by Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)–most of which are currently exempt from reporting requirements;
  • Create a new schedule (Schedule J), by which applicable group health plans would satisfy certain ERISA reporting requirements added by the Affordable Care Act (ACA); and
  • Revise the Schedule C reporting requirements to more closely track the information that plan service providers are required to disclose to plan fiduciaries.

The target for implementing the proposed revisions is the Plan Year 2019 Form 5500 Series Annual Returns/Reports, though some form changes may be made earlier or later.