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United States Department of Labor

US Department of Labor: Spring Regulatory Agenda 2010

Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Topic: Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program

The Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP) is designed to encourage voluntary compliance with the annual reporting requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The DFVCP gives delinquent plan administrators a way to avoid potentially higher civil penalty assessments by voluntarily correcting the failure to file an annual report on time, satisfying the program’s requirements and voluntarily paying a reduced penalty amount.

Key Concern and Issues Addressed

Eligibility for the DFVCP is limited to plan administrators with filing obligations under Title I of ERISA who comply with the provisions of the program and who have not been notified in writing by the Department of a failure to file a timely annual report under Title I of ERISA. Participation in the DFVCP is a two-part process. First, file a complete Form 5500 Series Annual Return/Report, including all required schedules and attachments, for each year relief is requested. Special simplified rules apply to “top hat” plans and apprenticeship and training plans. Second, submit to the DFVCP a copy of the 5500, without the schedules and attachments, and the applicable penalty amount. The plan administrator is personally liable for the applicable penalty amount, and, therefore, amounts paid under the DFVCP shall not be paid from the assets of an employee benefit plan. An online calculator is available to assist filers in computing the penalty. Additionally, after completing the calculator, located at, filers may choose to pay the penalty electronically.


The procedures governing participation in the program are intended to make the program easy to use. The program description is being updated to conform to guidance on filing delinquent 5500s under the Department’s new EFAST2 wholly electronic filing system. Questions about the DFVCP should be directed to EBSA by calling 202.693.8360 or For additional information about the Form 5500 Series, visit the EFAST Internet site at, or call the EBSA help desk at 1.866.463.3278.