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News Release

Labor Department Announces Final Rule on Electronic Filing and Proposes Improvements to Form 5500 Annual Reports

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Washington, DC - Today the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced a final regulation requiring plans to file Form 5500 annual reports electronically, beginning with 2008 plan year filings due in 2009. Simultaneously, EBSA, along with the Internal Revenue Service and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, proposed changes to the forms that will be processed under the new electronic system.

“We are moving to a wholly electronic filing system that will be streamlined, cost-effective, and more efficient for plans. This new state-of-the-art system will increase the accuracy of information used by the public and the government,” said Ann L. Combs, Assistant Secretary of Labor for EBSA. “At the same time, we are proposing to update the content of the Form 5500 to simplify filing and ensure compatibility with the electronic processing system.”

Under the final rule, the electronic filing requirement will be effective for plan years starting on or after January 1, 2008. This will give plans and service providers needed time to adapt to the new electronic system and any changes to the Form 5500.

Among the proposed revisions to the Form 5500 are: creation of a new short form for small plans whose assets are held in easy to value investments with regulated financial institutions; increased transparency of plan-related fees and expenses; improved information on the funding of defined benefit plans; and realignment of the reporting rules of 403(b) plans (subject to Title I) to be compatible with those of 401(k) plans. The new system will also customize the information required to be filed to the type of plan involved in each filing.

The final electronic filing regulation is to be published in the July 21st Federal Register. Written comments on the proposed Form 5500 revisions, published on the same date, should be submitted by September 19, 2006, to the Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N-5669, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210, Attn: Form 5500 Revisions or by email to

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.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Contact Name: David James/Gloria Della
Phone Number: 202.693.4676/202.693.8664

Employee Benefits Security Administration
July 20, 2006
Release Number