The Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. are proposing revisions to Form 5500 filings that would include updated requirements for how service provider fees to 401(k) and defined benefit plans are reported.
“The 5500 is in serious need of updates to continue to keep pace with changing conditions in the employee benefit plan and financial market sectors,” said Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, in a statement.
The proposed revisions would expand the data currently collected on 681,000 pension plans. Updating how service provider fees are reported on Schedule C of Form 5500 would harmonize with DOL’s requirements on how providers report fees to plan fiduciaries, according to the agency.
Among the proposals is a requirement for all group health plans to file an annual Form 5500. Group plans with fewer than 100 enrollees are exempt from doing so under existing regulations.
A joint release from the agencies said the expanded data would not only assist regulators and policymakers, but that private-sector researchers and stakeholders would also benefit, as the forms are open to public inspection.
Eric Ryles, managing director of Judy Diamond Associates, a provider of lead-generation and analytics tools for the financial services and insurance industries, agrees with that reasoning, particularly as the proposal relates to group health plans.
“There is a huge gap in the kind of information we can get for group health plans, with only plans with 100 or more participants currently filing,” said Ryles in an email (JDA is owned by ALM Media, the parent company of BenefitsPro.)