Plan Administrators, have you filed your form 5500 for your retirement plan for 2013? The deadline for the most common reporting period for the form 5500 is quickly approaching. The 5500’s non-extended due date is 7 months after the last day of the plan year. Most plans have a December 31 year end, which means the return is due July 31. There is an automatic 2 ½ month extension that extends the due date to October 15.
If your plan has more than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year, your plan is considered a large plan, and is required to include an annual audit of the financial statements of the plan. Plans with less than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year are typically considered small plans and may be exempt from the audit requirements. Plans that have between 80 and 120 participants at the beginning of the plan year may complete the form 5500 in the same category as was filed for the previous year. The exception to this rule is if the initial plan year was on or before April 17, 2001. If the initial plan year was after April 17, 2001, at least 95% of the plan’s assets must be invested in qualifying plan assets to be considered a small plan and exempt from the audit requirement.
Penalties for failing to file an annual 5500 may be a fine of up to $1,100 a day for each day a plan administrator refuses to file a complete annual report by the Department of Labor (DOL). Additionally, the DOL assesses penalties of $150 a day, up to $50,000 per annual report filing where the required auditor’s report is missing or deficient. The DOL presently assesses non-filer penalties of $300 per day, up to $30,000 per annual report, per year. Late filer penalties are assessed at $50 per day.