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Employee Benefits Security Administration

Media Release

Release Date: 10/31/2005
Release Number: 05-2087-ATL
Contact Name: David James/Gloria Della
Phone Number: 202.693.4676/202.693.8664

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U.S. Labor Department Extends Annual Reports Deadline After Hurricane Wilma Hits Florida

Atlanta, Georgia - In the wake of destruction in Florida from Hurricane Wilma, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) today announced an extension of the deadline for filing Form 5500 and Form 5500-EZ annual report/returns.

President Bush has declared a major disaster in 20 counties in the state due to the damage caused by the hurricane. The extension applies to plan administrators, employers and other entities located in areas directly affected, as identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The extension also applies to firms located outside the affected areas who are unable to obtain the necessary information from service providers, banks or insurance companies whose operations were directly affected by the hurricane.

If the president declares additional counties eligible for individual assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, this extension will also apply to them.

Under this relief, Form 5500 series filings required to be submitted between October 23, 2005 and Feb. 28, 2006, are granted an extension until February 28, 2006. Plan filers entitled to an extension of relief should check Part I, Box D, on the Form 5500 or Part 1 on Form 5500-EZ and attach a statement to the form in accordance with the instructions.

For more information about disaster relief, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1.800.621.3362 or 202.621.FEMA or the Internal Revenue Service at www.irs.gov under “Disaster Area Tax Relief. Filers who have additional questions may contact the EBSA’s EFAST Help Line at 1.866.463.3278.

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Department's Newsroom page. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202.693.7765 or TTY 202.693.7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit the Department's Compliance Assistance page.