ABA Files Additional Comments on Form 5500 Proposal

Following a meeting last month with bankers, ABA staff, the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service, ABA today filed additional comments on DOL’s proposed updates to Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan). The form — which must be filed by all private-sector employers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code — reports information about the operation, funding, assets and investments of pensions and other employee benefit plans.

ABA reiterated its call for DOL to hold a hearing followed by a series of roundtable discussions on the proposed amendments to allow for greater input from industry stakeholders before releasing a revised proposal for public comment. In addition, ABA recommended that DOL conduct a beta test using actual plan data prior to rolling out the new form and requested that DOL host several focus groups with plan sponsors, service providers, participants and accounting professionals to evaluate the form’s workability before it is finalized. The association also echoed its previous concerns about the revisions to the form, citing several gaps, inconsistencies and ambiguities in the proposal, such as those related to trustee certification, asset identification and hard-to-value assets, among others.

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