Regulators have issued a proposal to streamline and simplify Form 5500, the annual reports employers must file for pension plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the tax code.
The proposal, published in the Federal Register Sept. 3, includes a common form for use by both large and small plan sponsors.
The Labor Department, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and the Internal Revenue Service issued the joint proposal.
If approved, employers no longer will be asked for peripheral information. The form would be restructured along the lines of individual and corporate tax returns.
The revised form will consist of a single page with basic plan information, along with a checklist to indicate supplementary schedules being filed that are applicable to the employer's specific type of pension plan.
The proposed form consists of eight questions that identify the type of plan and provide other details. The regulators are proposing 13 schedules - five on pension plans, seven on financial information and one for fringe benefit plans.
The agencies are requesting public comments on the proposal and intend to hold a public hearing Nov. 17.