Updated Form 5500s and Instructions Released

The U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) announcing changes to the 2023 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan and Form 5500-SF Short Form in February 23.

The “Phase III” announcement released this week are set forth in the following:

The Phase III announcement implements the third and final phase of implementation of a September, 2021 regulatory proposal, which included changes related to provisions in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enforcement Act, commonly known as the SECURE Act, which affected annual reporting requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code.

The first two phases of implementation included publication of Federal Register notices in December 2021 for Phase I and May 2022 for Phase II, respectively, to adopt changes for the 2021 and 2022 Form 5500 Returns/Reports. 

The Phase III announcement features a Notice of Final Forms Revisions from the EBSA, IRS and PBGC for the 2023 plan year forms and instructions and a Notice of Final Rulemaking by the department that makes corresponding changes to annual reporting regulations under Title I of ERISA. 

The 2023 plan year reports – which generally will be filed beginning in July 2024 for calendar year plans – include the following changes: 

  • A consolidated Form 5500 reporting option for certain groups of defined contribution retirement plans, improved reporting by pooled employer plans and other multiple employer plans. 
  • A change in the participant-counting methodology for determining eligibility for simplified reporting alternatives available to “small plans,” which are generally plans with fewer than 100 participants. 
  • A breakout of reporting on administrative expenses paid by the plan on the plan’s financial statements.
  • Further improvements in financial and funding reporting by PBGC-covered defined benefit plans.
  • The addition of selected Internal Revenue Code compliance questions to improve tax oversight and compliance of tax-qualified retirement plans.  
  • Technical and conforming changes as part of the annual rollover of forms and instructions.

Additionally, technical adjustments were made to the Federal Register notices to address certain provisions in SECURE Act 2.0 of 2022 on Code section 403(b) multiple employer plans, including pooled employer plans, minimum required distributions and audit requirements for plans in defined contribution group reporting arrangements.

The Federal Register notices, Document #2023-02653 for the Notice of Final Forms Revision and Document #2023-02652 for Notice of Final Rulemaking, also include appendices that describe the changes to the forms and instructions as well as a regulatory impact and paperwork burden analyses. A more detailed summary of the annual reporting changes is included in a fact sheet posted on the department’s website today. Mock-ups of the forms and instructions will be available at reginfo.gov as part of the Paperwork Reduction Act clearance process. The release of “for information-only” copies of the forms and instructions will happen later in 2023.

More Information

When investigating and responding to a violation, it is critically important to document the timing and details of the discovery of a potentially concern

We hope this update is helpful. For more information about the these or other health or other legal, management or public policy developments, please contact the author Cynthia Marcotte Stamer via e-mail or via telephone at (214) 452 -8297

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About the Author

Recognized by her peers as a Martindale-Hubble “AV-Preeminent” (Top 1%) and “Top Rated Lawyer” with special recognition LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® as “LEGAL LEADER™ Texas Top Rated Lawyer” in Health Care Law and Labor and Employment Law; as among the “Best Lawyers In Dallas” for her work in the fields of “Labor & Employment,” “Tax: ERISA & Employee Benefits,” “Health Care” and “Business and Commercial Law” by D Magazine, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer is a practicing attorney board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and management consultant, author, public policy advocate and lecturer widely known for 35+ years of workforce and other management work, public policy leadership and advocacy, coaching, teachings, scholarship and thought leadership.

A Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel, Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) International Section Life Sciences and Health Committee, Past Chair of the ABA Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group, Scribe for the ABA JCEB Annual Agency Meeting with HHS-OCR, past chair of the ABA RPTE Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Group and current co-Chair of its Welfare Benefit Committee, Ms. Stamer’s work throughout her 35 year career has focused heavily on working with health care and managed care, health and other employee benefit plan, insurance and financial services and other public and private organizations and their technology, data, and other service providers and advisors domestically and internationally with legal and operational compliance and risk management, performance and workforce management, regulatory and public policy and other legal and operational concerns. As an ongoing component of this work, she regularly advises, represents and defends businesses on Guideline Program and other compliance, risk management and other internal and external controls in a wide range of areas and has published and spoken extensively on these concerns.

Ms. Stamer also is widely recognized for her decades of pragmatic, leading edge work, scholarship and thought leadership on workforce, compensation, and other operations, risk management, compliance and regulatory and public affairs concerns.

For more information about Ms. Stamer or her health industry and other experience and involvements, see www.cynthiastamer.com or contact Ms. Stamer via telephone at (214) 452-8297 or via e-mail here

Solutions Law Press, Inc.™ provides human resources and employee benefit and other business risk management, legal compliance, management effectiveness and other coaching, tools and other resources, training and education on leadership, governance, human resources, employee benefits, data security and privacy, insurance, health care and other key compliance, risk management, internal controls and operational concerns. If you find this of interest, you also be interested reviewing some of our other Solutions Law Press, Inc.™ resources available here.  


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