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Do I need to file a 5500?

The question we invariably get from our client is, “Does my client need to file a 5500 as part of their section 125 POP”

In short the answer is, not based on the premium only plan unless they are providing any other type of ERISA benefits (e.g. 401(k) benefits). In the distant past an employer was required to file a 5500 as part of a cafeteria plan, but back in 2002 the IRS suspended the requirement and has not reinstated it since (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/ir-02-43.pdf).  If you offer out of pocket medical and dependent care provisions as a full service cafeteria plan with over 100 participants then you are required to file 5500 for that specific plan. 

What does this mean for you? If you are a broker or business owner it means that if your client/company offers benefits through a POP plan the need to file a 5500 has been eliminated.  However if you have underlying benefits such as a health, dental, life or other benefit plan there is a need to file a 5500 for those respective plans.  If you have a 401(k) plan with 1 or more employees you are always required to file a 5500 .

 These questions and many more can be answered by looking at the FAQ page of the IRS website regarding Cafeteria Plans (http://www.irs.gov/Government-Entities/Federal,-State-&-Local-Governments/FAQs-for-government-entities-regarding-Cafeteria-Plans).