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Stay Informed! Changes to Note on the Form 5500 for 2016

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With spring upon us it means one thing, ERISA filing season is almost here!

The Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have recently released copies of the Form 5500, Form 5500-SF and related schedules for the 2016 tax year. Overall the form structure and content remain similar however with a few slight changes. The “changes to note” section highlights four key modifications:


IRS compliance questions
Administrative penalties
Schedules H and I
Schedule SB

IRS compliance questions

Although the line items appear, the IRS decided not to require certain information to be entered on the form such as:

Recep Kutuk

“Preparer Information”
at the bottom
of the first page

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Questions included on schedules H and I, Lines 4o and 6a through 6d

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Questions included on schedule R,
Part VII

Icons made by Recep Kutuk from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

Administrative penalties

The new maximum penalty for a plan administrator who refuses to file or fails to file a complete or accurate return has been increased to $2,063 per day (previously only $1,100 per day). Additionally under the Inflation Adjustment Act, starting in 2017 it is anticipated that the DOL will be adjusting the penalty amounts annually for inflation by January 15th of every year.

Schedules H and I

Line 5c is modified. For those indicating that their defined benefit plan is covered by the PBGC insurance program, a follow up question is added to indicate the My PAA-generated confirmation number for the PBGC premium filing for the plan year.

Schedule SB

Updated for guidance issued in the Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act, Pub. L. No.113-97 (CSEC Act).

Additional Resource

A copy of the 2016 Form 5500 for informational purposes only (not available for filing) can be accessed at the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration website. Additionally, assistance with further information is available on the DOL’s website at www.dol.gov/ebsa in two guides:


If you need more information regarding this or any other topic affecting your retirement plan, visit our Withum ERISA Knowledge Corner online, follow us on Twitter at WSB_ERISA or contact us at ERISAhelp@withum.com to arrange a free consultation today.

Ask Our Experts

Offer-Jessica Jessica Offer, CPA

To ensure compliance with U.S. Treasury rules, unless expressly stated otherwise, any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.


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