The Employee Benefits Security Administration will be changing the rules for submitting electronic signatures along with Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF employee benefit plan annual reports.
EBSA, an arm of the U.S. Labor Department, made the change after the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, Arlington, Va., had about 800 retirement plan services firms join with it in February to ask EBSA for help with easing the rules governing use of plan administrator electronic signatures.
The change affects service providers that help employers file plan annual reports through the EFAST2 electronic filing system.
EBSA now requires sponsors to file all plan annual reports through EFAST2.
The new rule change gives service providers the ability to keep images of plan administrator signatures on file in the PDF format. A service provider must include the administrator signature PDF as an attachment when submitting a plan annual report through EFAST2, according to EBSA officials.
The service provider must back up the electronic filing by keeping a paper copy of the report that has been signed by the administrator in the traditional way.