A Form 5500 annual filing is required by the Department of Labor of most employers with 100 or more participants in a Welfare Benefit Plan as defined by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Form 5500 filings for Welfare Benefit Plans are due 7 months after the end of the Plan Year. The Department of Labor does permit a two and a half month extension by filing a Form 5588.
Organizations may be exempt from this filing; examples of exempt organizations are those that have less than 100 participating employees and/or are exempt from ERISA. Employers typically exempt from ERISA are government organizations and most church plans.
Effective January 1, 2010, all Form 5500 Annual Returns/Reports of Employee Benefit Plan and all Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual Returns/Reports of Small Employee Benefit Plan for 2009 and 2010 plan years, and any required schedules and attachments, must be completed and filed electronically.