Do You Know Your Form 5500 Filing Requirements?

Form 5500 is additional ERISA reporting that many employers or plan sponsors don’t realize they’re required to complete. If you are unsure about your requirements, let us help you review your compliance needs.



We can complete your welfare benefit form 5500 preparation, working with you to compile all Schedule A’s and Schedule C’s to ensure accurate filing.


We will complete a comprehensive compliance review of current and past 5500 filings to ensure you maintain all requirements.

Summary Annual
Reporting (SAR)

We can take care of your Summary Annual Report so you can get it distributed on time.


We take care of your 5500 filing for you, submitting the forms with the DOL on your behalf.


We can help you take care of any past or late filing needs. This includes helping to file for extensions and assistance with the Delinquent File Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVC).

We Take Care of 5500 Filing So You Can Use Your Resources Where You Need Them Most

The 5500 reporting requirements are intended to ensure that employee benefit plans follow specific standards. These standards include that benefit participants have access to sufficient information to protect their rights for benefits provided under employee benefit plans.

HR Service, Inc. makes filing your welfare benefit 5500 stress-free. We will file Form 5500 for you to make sure you remain compliant with ERISA regulations. Let us help you with each step of the 5500 filing so you can complete the process as efficiently as possible.

Make 5500 Filing Simple


We can help you with compiling, completing, and filing your 5500 forms, helping you to stay on track and make sure all information is correct. We know how stressful managing all your compliance requirements is, so we make the process as easy as possible for you. 


Employers who are required to file a 5500 form for their sponsored health plan must distribute a Summary Annual Report (SAR) to plan participants. We can help you complete your SAR documentation, so you can easily distribute the necessary information on time.


HR Service, Inc. can help you manage all your benefit compliance needs. We have the resources you need to keep up with important due dates, manage your compliance documentation, and take care of employee notifications. We give you peace of mind that your benefits compliance will be taken care of correctly the first time.


Failure to comply with 5500 requirements can result in steep penalty fees with the IRS and DOL. We help you manage your 5500 and other benefit compliance needs so you can maintain compliance, save money, and focus on your many other business needs. 

Keeping You Compliant

“Great company! Helping to keep you compliant. I highly recommend their services.”

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MK Benefits Consultant

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5500 FAQ

The 5500 form is an annual report submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL). This form reports specific information on ERISA benefits sponsored by an employer. This helps the DOL track these benefits and helps to maintain compliance with IRS regulations. Welfare benefit filing is due 7 months after your plan year ends.


Example: if your plan year ends on 12/31, you will need to file your 5500 by 7/31 of the following year.


If you are not able to file your 5500 by the deadline, you can request a 5558 extension that gives you an additional 2.5 months to file. This extension must be sent to the IRS before the original deadline.



If an employer sponsors any ERISA benefit plan, they are required to file a 5500 every calendar year.


For retirement plans (401K, IRA, Pension, etc.), the employer must file a Retirement 5500. Your Retirement Plan Administrator should help you prepare and file this form.

Please contact us if you do not have anyone to assist you with this and we will refer you to a few resources. HR Service, Inc. does not file Retirement 5500s.


If an employer sponsors a group welfare benefit program (medical, dental, vision, life, etc.), the employer MAY be required to file a Welfare 5500. This depends on certain criteria:

The number of employees participating in the welfare benefits.

The funding level of your welfare benefits (fully funded vs. self/level funded).

Form 5500 is required if:

  • The plan is fully insured and has 100+ participants on the first day of the plan year.
  • The plan is self-funded and uses a trust regardless of how many participants there are.
  • The plan is self-funded and relies on the Section 125 plan exemption if it has 100 participants on the first day of the plan year.

Download the 5500 Determination tool to determine if you are required to file.

There are some exemptions to the requirements for Form 5500. These exemptions include:

  • Church plans that are defined under ERISA Section 3 (33).
  • Government plans, including tribal government plans.
  • Top-hat plans that are unfunded or not insured, and only benefit a select group of management or highly compensated employees.
  • Small insured or unfunded welfare plans (A welfare plan with fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year is not required to file an annual report if the plan is fully insured, entirely unfunded, or a combination of both).

If you are late with your 5500 forms and did not file an extension, or you have never filed a 5500 when you are required to, you can face fines with the IRS and DOL.


The IRS imposes a $250 penalty per day, maxing out at $150,000. The DOL penalty is $2,452 per day and has no maximum cap on the amount you can be charged.


There is some relief for late or delinquent filers. The DOL has instituted a Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVC). This program allows late filers to self-report and pre-pay their penalties. Doing so can significantly decrease the penalties paid. Instead of the full penalty, all penalties are lumped into one fine. The rate drops to $10 per day with a per-plan-year cap of $2,000 and a total payment cap of $4,000.

Don't let confusion around Form 5500 filing trip you up.

5500 Tracker

Download our 5500 Determination tool to determine your compliance requirements.

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