Urgent: No blanket extension for Form 5500

There will be no reprieve for late filings of Form 5500’s for 403(b) plans.  The Department of Labor (DOL) decided not to grant a unilateral extension for Form 5500 and 5500-SF, which was due July 31, 2010. You can, however, file Form 5558 to get a 2 ½ month extension. The DOL believes that the current processes for obtaining an extension meet the needs of plans that need additional time to file. Retaining the deadline also avoids complex and costly system changes.

The American Benefits Council had requested that the deadline be moved to the later of December 31, 2010 or 9 ½ months after the end of the plan year. They were concerned about stress on companies filing a new form or filing for the first time. In addition, the need to file electronically using EFAST2’s Web filing or an EFAST2 vendor was complicated due to the recent completion of software implementation.

The July 31 deadline applies to a calendar year plan.