The Labor Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration proposed requiring employers to file their annual Form 5500 reports electronically, starting in 2008. The proposal, which will be published in the Federal Register on Aug. 30, is open for public comments until Oct. 31.
"By using a modern, electronic filing-based system, we will reduce the burden on filers while improving both the accuracy and timeliness of the reports," said Ann L. Combs, assistant secretary of the Labor Department and head of the EBSA. "Because this (form) is a critical source of plan information, we want to make sure the reporting process is both cost effective and efficient."
The ERISA Advisory Council and the Government Accountability Office had both recommended the requirement. In anticipation of implementation, the Labor Department, as well as the IRS and the PBGC, will propose revisions to improve the information on the forms in 2007.