Skip to page content
Employee Benefits Security Administration
Bookmark and Share

Pension and Health Plan Bulletins and Form 5500 Data

On This Page

Each year, most private pension and many private welfare benefit plans satisfy their annual reporting requirement by filing a Form 5500 Annual Return/Report regarding their financial condition, investments, and operations with the Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. EBSA discloses Form 5500 data collected through the EFAST systems in a variety of formats. The unedited data is provided through the EBSA FOIA Web page while a pension research sample and a health data set are available for download on this Web page. The pension research sample supports analysis of the plan, participant, and financial characteristics of the private pension plan universe and is used to produce the Private Pension Plan Bulletin Abstract of Form 5500 Annual Reports, an annual publication that summarizes data on private pension plans. The health data set supports analysis of health plans that are required to file a Form 5500 and is used to produce the Annual Report on Self-Insured Group Health Plans, as required by Section 1253 of the Affordable Care Act.

Statistical Summaries

Annual Private Pension Plan Bulletins

Statistical summary of Form 5500 data on private pension plans including plan counts, participant counts, and financial totals (including assets by category, contributions, and benefits).

Private Pension Plan Bulletins Abstract of Form 5500 Annual Reports

Excel Tables

XML Tables

Private Pension Plan Bulletin Historical Tables and Graphs: 1975-2011

These tables and graphs summarize major trends from the annual Private Pension Plan Bulletins

Form 5500 Direct Filing Entity Bulletin Abstract of Form 5500 Annual Reports

Statistical summary of Form 5500 data on Direct Filing Entities (DFEs) including counts of DFEs, counts of private pension plans invested in DFEs, and asset counts. Table 11 distributes the assets reported by pension plans in DFEs into the other financial asset categories and replicates Table C4 of the Private Pension Plan Bulletins Abstract of Form 5500 Annual Reports.

Form 5500 Direct Filing Entity Bulletin Historical Tables: 2008-2011

Schedule C Bulletin Abstract of Form 5500 Annual Reports

Statistical summary of Schedule C data on private pension plans including plan counts, participant counts, and direct and indirect compensation on service providers.


Form 5500 Private Pension Plan Research Files

These data files are created each year to support creation of the Private Pension Plan Bulletins. They include Form 5500 filings from all private pension plans having 100 or more participants and a 5 percent sample of smaller private pension plans. The private pension plan research files correct many statistically important logical and arithmetic data inconsistencies that remain after completion of EFAST processing. The downloadable zipped pension research files below include SAS datasets suitable for use on a Windows operating system, sample SAS tabulation programs, a SAS formats program, and documentation. The Pension Research File User Guides provide information on the construction of, structure of, and variables included on, the Form 5500 Private Pension Plan Research File. Information on how to request the pension research files in formats other than SAS data sets or for non-Windows operating systems can be obtained by contacting EBSA's Office of Outreach, Education and Assistance.

2011 Pension Research Files

2010 Pension Research Files

2009 Pension Research Files (updated 03/2012)

2008 Pension Research Files (updated 03/2012)

2007 Pension Research Files (updated 03/2012)

2006 Pension Research Files (updated 03/2012)

2005 Pension Research Files (updated 03/2012)

2004 Pension Research Files (updated 06/2010)

2003 Pension Research Files (updated 06/2010)

2002 Pension Research Files (updated 06/2011)

2001 Pension Research Files (updated 06/2010)

2000 Pension Research Files (updated 06/2010)


Annual Group Health Plans Reports

Statistical summaries of Form 5500 data on group health plans that are required to file a Form 5500 including plan counts, participant counts, and financial totals.  In the interest of timely submission of the Annual Report on Self-Insured Group Health Plans, March 2011, the methodology for selecting data underlying the Group Health Plans Report: March 2011, Abstract of 2008 Form 5500 Annual Reports, Reflecting Calendar Year Filings was roughly based upon Form 5500 plan year beginning dates.  For purposes of generating the Annual Report on Self-Insured Group Health Plans, March 2012, EBSA decided to harmonize the plan year definition for the annual Group Health Plans Report with the definition underlying the Form 5500 Private Pension Plan Research File used to produce the annual Private Pension Plan Bulletin Abstracts.  Therefore the methodology for selecting data underlying the Group Health Plans Report: March 2012, Abstract of 2009 Form 5500 Annual Reports is based upon Form 5500 plan year ending dates.  To allow for longitudinal comparison of Form 5500 data on self-insured group health plans, EBSA also published the Group Health Plans Report: January 2012 Update, Abstract of 2008 Form 5500 Annual Reports, Reflecting Statistical Year Filings which used the Form 5500 plan year ending dates as the data selection methodology.

Group Health Plans Reports Abstract of Form 5500 Annual Reports

Excel Tables

XML Tables


Group Health Plans Research Files

These data files are created each year to support creation of the Group Health Plans Reports. The datasets includes all employer-sponsored private-sector welfare plans that are required to file a Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and indicate that the plan offered health benefit to the covered participants. The group health plans research files correct many statistically important logical and arithmetic data inconsistencies that remain after completion of EFAST processing. The downloadable zipped health research files below include SAS datasets suitable for use on a Windows operating system, sample SAS tabulation programs, a SAS formats program, and documentation. The Group Health Plans Research File User Guides provide information on the construction of, structure of, and variables included on, the Group Health Plans Research File. Information on how to request the health research files in formats other than SAS data sets or for non-Windows operating systems can be obtained by contacting EBSA's Office of Outreach, Education, and Assistance.


Form 5500 Data (Unedited)

The Form 5500 Annual Return/Report is the primary source of information about the operations, funding and investments of about 800,000 retirement and welfare benefit plans. The unedited data from all of the filings for each year, including the data in the various schedules are available on EBSA's FOIA Web page. These datasets are available in .csv format. Please note that the Form 5500 pension data are also available in a SAS format via the Private Pension Plan Research Files (see above). Additionally, the Private Pension Plan Research Files contain edits to some reporting errors contained in the unedited Form 5500 data. At certain times of the year, the available unedited Form 5500 data will be more recent than the latest Private Pension Plan Research Files.


Related Links