Pension & Benefits News 2019 Form 5500 annual return/report series issued
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

2019 Form 5500 annual return/report series issued

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have issued advance informational copies of the 2019 Form 5500 annual return/report, related instructions and schedules, and 2019 Form 5500-SF and instructions. The advance copies cannot be used to file a 2019 form. Plans should file Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF electronically using the EFAST2 system.

Administrative penalties. The instructions for 2019 Forms 5500 and 5500-SF have been updated to reflect an increase in the maximum civil penalty amount assessable under ERISA Sec. 502(c)(2), as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-74). The maximum penalty was increased to $2,194 a day for a plan administrator who fails or refuses to file a complete or accurate Form 5500 report. The increased penalty under Sec. 502(c)(2) is applicable for civil penalties assessed after January 23, 2019, whose associated violation(s) occurred after November 2, 2015 - the date of enactment of the Act.

The instructions note that filers should check for any further inflation adjustments because the penalty amounts are adjusted after the Forms 5500 and instructions are issued.

Principal Business Activity Codes. The instructions for Line 2d in Form 5500 have been clarified on how to report the Principal Business Activity Code for plan sponsors of multiemployer plans. The instructions state that, if more than one employer or employee organization is involved, filers should enter the business code for the main business activity of the employer and/or employee organizations. For multiemployer plans, filers should enter the code that best describes the predominant industry in which the active participants are employed.

Schedule H. The instructions for Lines 3a(1), 3a(2), 3a(3), and 3a(4) in Schedule H Part III-Accountant’s Opinion have been revised to align with the language in the clarified generally accepted auditing standards, AU-C 700, Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements, and AU-C 705, Modifications to the Opinion in the Independent Auditor’s Report.

Schedule R. Schedule R has been updated to add a new Line 20 concerning PBGC missed contribution reporting requirements. The PBGC is seeking to obtain information related to PBGC reporting requirements resulting from unpaid minimum required contributions. Only PBGC-insured single-employer plans must provide this additional information.

Schedule SB. Line 23 in Schedule SB, where filers check a box to indicate which set of mortality tables is used, has been revised to eliminate mortality table options that are not available after 2018.

Form 5500-SF. A new Line 11b has been added under Part VI - Pension Funding Compliance to Form 5500-SF that parallels the new Line 20 in Schedule R for PBGC-insured single-employer plans that file Form 5500-SF instead of Form 5500.

Source: 2019 Form 5500, instructions, and schedules, as well as 2019 Form 5500-SF and instructions.

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