The Employee Benefits Security Administration is conducting a routine review of benefit plan annual return paperwork.

EBSA, an arm of the U.S. Labor Department, is one of three agencies that regularly use Form 5500 data. The others are the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and the Internal Revenue Service.

The federal Paperwork Reduction Act requires agencies to assess data collection efforts. Office of Management and Budget approval for EBSA Form 500 data collection efforts is set to expire Sept. 30.

About 780,000 employers file Form 5500 reports with the Labor Department, and they spend about 530,000 hours and $178 million providing the data, EBSA officials estimate.

Comments on ideas for improving the Form 5500 data collection process are due Aug. 23.

EBSA is conducting similar paperwork reviews of data reporting requirements related to plan sales of individual life insurance and annuity contracts to plan participants and others, and of data reporting requirements related to transactions between individual retirement accounts and authorized buyers of American Eagle bullion coins.