Retirement, health and welfare plan administrators can review advance copies of the 2019 Form 5500 series, schedules and instructions on the Department of Labor (DOL)'s website. The copies are only for information purposes — they can't be used in place of electronic filing through EFAST2. The updates to the forms and instructions are relatively minor.
Here are two of the changes of interest to retirement plan administrators:
- Information on missed contributions. Following a 2018 PBGC proposal, Schedule R includes a new question for sponsors of PBGC-insured single-employer pension plans reporting unpaid minimum required contributions on Schedule SB. Sponsors will now have to indicate on Schedule R whether they notified PBGC about the missed contribution, as required unless an event-reporting waiver applies. Sponsors that did not notify PBGC will have to explain the reason for a reporting waiver or for their failure to report as required. The new question relates only to contributions unpaid at the end of the grace period (generally 8-1/2 months after plan year-end) — not to quarterly contributions paid late but before that deadline.
- Higher late-filing penalties. The updated instructions reflect the increased maximum penalty to $2,194 per day for late filings, up from $2,140 for last year. In practice, however, DOL rarely seeks the highest penalty. Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, all federal agencies must annually index civil penalties for inflation.
- Form 5500 Series Website With Advance 2019 Forms and Instructions
- Press Release (DOL, Nov. 18, 2019)
Mercer Law & Policy Resource
- DOL, PBGC Announce Retirement Plan Civil Penalties for 2019 (Feb. 27, 2019)