The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued its third set of finalized forms revisions to Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan) and Form 5500-SF (Short Form Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan). The revisions follow DOL’s publication of final forms revisions in 2021 and 2022, and are the last set of final forms revisions implementing the legislative changes to SECURE Act. The revisions, together with the instructions, are effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1
Among other things, the revisions update reporting on the Form 5500 Schedule H to make the financial information collected on Form 5500 more useful and usable. Specifically, the update to Schedule H adds new breakout reporting items to the “administrative expenses” category of the income and expenses section of the Schedule H balance sheet. The 12 new reporting items include “bank or trust company trustee/custodial fees,” “other trustee fees and expenses.” and “other expenses.” The DOL stated that the instructions will provide that the plan administrator may use any reasonable method of classifying expenses into the appropriate categories. In response to earlier recommendations of the American Bankers Association and other industry representatives, the DOL deleted from the final revisions to Form 5500 proposed questions that would identify the name of the trust, the trust’s EIN, and the name and phone number of the trustee.
After discussions with ABA staff, DOL has decided to defer action on more substantive changes to Schedule H, such as reporting on hard-to-value assets and bank collective investment fund investments. ABA has advocated that DOL factor in the feedback and input from bank trustees and custodians as part of modernizing Form 5500 reporting.