Medcom Blog


Preparing for 5500 Season

The Form 5500 deadline is quickly approaching for calendar-year health plans. This form shares key information regarding an employer’s health plans, employees, fees paid, broker relationships, and more. Why does this matter? Because it is required to file this form under the ERISA Reporting and Disclosure Rules. Who is required to file? Let’s refresh.

Subject to ERISA

NOT Subject to ERISA

Group Health & Medical coverages

Government plans

Dental plans & Vision plans

Church plans

Life insurance plans

Plans maintained outside the U.S. for non-resident employees



Disability plans

Section 125 POP & 129 DCAP plans

Prepaid Legal plans

Voluntary benefits**

Telemedicine plans

Benefits funded through payroll practice

Wellness plans*


Employee Assistance Programs*


*Only if medical care is provided.
**Unless employer endorsed and/or offered pre-tax under a cafeteria plan.

Please note there are certain exceptions. Most welfare plans that have fewer than 100 participants on the first day of the plan year are exempt from filing a Form 5500.

When Do I Need to File?

The due date is seven months from the end of the ERISA plan year or “filing year.” For calendar plan years (January 1 to December 31), the due date is July 31 of the following year. So, it’s crunch time!

If needed, the Form 5500 filing deadline can be extended by two and a half months (October 15 for calendar-year plans) by submitting Form 5558, which must be filed no later than the original due date of the Form 5500.

All filings must be submitted electronically through the EFAST2 portal, the ERISA Filing Acceptance System.

gavel on stack of money, penaltyWhat Happens if I Don’t File?

Unfortunately, many employers don’t find out they missed a Form 5500 filing until they receive a letter from the IRS or DOL, normally a year after the due date. And it can come with pretty hefty penalties. The current maximum penalty from the DOL is $2,400/day.

However, Medcom is here to help! In the event you miss a filing deadline there is a remedy available. Prior to receiving the aforementioned IRS letter, you can file under the DFVCP (Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program). By selecting this option, the penalties associated are as follows:

  • The daily penalty is reduced to $10 per day up to a maximum of $2,000 per plan number per plan year
  • The overall maximum penalty for late filings is $4000 per plan number

Keep in mind, that this option is only available before you receive a letter from the DOL as it requires voluntary admission of a late filing. Should the requisite penalty not be paid upon submission of the filing, the DOL will increase the DFVCP daily penalty to $50 per day.

Medcom Benefit Solutions offers Form 5500 filing services and other solutions to help our clients meet regulatory compliance needs. Contact us for more info!