In a Press Release dated January 8, 2010, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) said that its EFAST2 online filing system is operational to receive and process Form 5500 filings.
According to the Press Release, the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (the “EBSA”) converted to a total electronic system of online filing for the Forms 5500 and new the Form 5500-SF on December 31, 2009. Now the all-electronic EFAST2 system allows the public to submit and access filings online at www.efast.dol.gov. The revised EFAST Web site has been updated to provide filers with a variety of tools and guidance, including the 2009 and 2010 Form 5500 and new Form 5500-SF schedules and instructions, Frequently Asked Questions, user guides, and a tutorial. Filers and preparers can register for an account, complete the required forms and schedules online in multiple sessions, print a copy for their records, and submit it at no cost.
Filers may also use EFAST2-approved software to complete and submit their filings. EFAST2-approved software is expected to be easier to use and provide more value-added features than the Government web application. A list of EFAST2-approved software is available at on the Web site above. Filers must submit the 2009 and 2010 annual return/report forms and schedules electronically through EFAST2. Prior year delinquent or amended Form 5500 filings also now must be filed electronically except that timely 2008 plan year filings may still be filed through the original EFAST on paper until October 15, 2010 or electronically through June 30, 2010.
Important changes for the 2009 and 2010 Form 5500s include:
• Mandatory electronic filing
• Introduction of the new, two-page Form 5500-SF for eligible small plan filers
• Expanded disclosure on Schedule C of indirect service provider compensation
• Expanded reporting by Code section 403(b) plans
• Removal of IRS Schedules E and SSA. Information on participants with deferred vested benefits who separated from the service covered by the plan now must be filed directly with the Internal Revenue Service