The IRS, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation developed the Form 5500-series returns for employee benefit plans to satisfy annual reporting requirements under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

Plan sponsors must generally file the return on the last day of the seventh month after their plan year ends.

Form Who files Where to file Additional tips
Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan(form and instructions)

The employer maintaining the plan or the plan administrator of a Pension or Welfare benefit plan covered by ERISA.

File Form 5500 to report information on the qualification of the plan, its financial condition, investments and the operations of the plan.

Must file electronically through EFAST2.

Due date: the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends (July 31 for a calendar year plan).

Extensions: request on Form 5558

Increased Penalties for Failure to File Retirement Plan Returns

Frequently Asked Questions about EFAST2 Electronic Filing System (Form 5500s filing)

Troubleshooter's Guide to Filing the ERISA Annual Report PDF

Fixing Problems with Electronic Signatures for 5500 Series Returns

DOL's Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program-

IRS Penalty Relief for DOL DFVC Filers

Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan(form and instructions)

A plan with fewer than 100 participants.

See the instructions on the Form 5500 Series page for other eligibility requirements.

Must file electronically through EFAST2.

Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of A One-Participant (Owners/Partners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan or A Foreign Plan PDF (instructions PDF)

Schedules: Completed and signed Schedules SB and MB, if applicable. You don't need to file the Schedule MB or Schedule SB, but you must keep with your records.

Get prior year forms and instructions.

Effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, a “One-participant” plan * and a foreign plan can file Form 5500-EZ electronically using the EFAST2 filing system or file Form 5500-EZ on paper with the IRS. You can no longer use Form 5500-SF in place of Form 5500-EZ.

Certain foreign plans maintained outside the U.S. by a domestic employer or a foreign employer primarily for the benefit of nonresident aliens must file Form 5500-EZ rather than Form 5500.

 

If you file Form 5500-EZ electronically, you can either use:

If you file Form 5500-EZ on paper, you must mail it to:

Department of the Treasury
IRS
Ogden, UT 84201-0020

Advantages to filing your one-participant plan return electronically using Form 5500-EZ.

Due date: the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends (July 31 for a calendar year plan).

Extensions: request on Form 5558

Mandatory electronic filing

Penalty relief program for Form 5500-EZ late filers

Request copies of filed Forms 5500-EZ using Form 4506 (includes instructions).

Filing an Amended 2020 Form 5500-EZ

 

Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits PDF

Form 8955-SSA Instructions PDF

Form 8955-SSA Resources

Plan administrators of plans that have separated participants with deferred vested benefits.

File electronically through the IRS FIRE system – no electronic signature needed.

Approved software vendors.

May mail it to:

Department of the Treasury
IRS
Ogden, UT 84201-0024

 

Due date: the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends (July 31 for a calendar year plan)

Extensions: request on Form 5558

Mandatory electronic filing

Delinquent or amended returns: use the current year form

Increased Penalties for Failure to File Retirement Plan Returns

Form 8955-SSA Resources FAQs, guidance and e-file provider information

Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time To File Certain Employee Plan Returns PDF(form and instructions)

Plan administrators who want to file for an extension of time for the following returns:

  • Form 5500
  • Form 5500-SF
  • Form 5500-EZ
  • Form 8955-SSA
  • Form 5330

Must be mailed to:

Department of the Treasury
IRS
Ogden, UT 84201-0045

 

Use a separate Form 5558 for each plan for which you're requesting an extension.

Use a separate Form 5558 for an extension of time to file Form 5330 or Form 5500 series.

May use a single Form 5558 to extend the Form 5500 and Form 8955-SSA filed for the same plan.

Do not attach lists of plans to a Form 5558.

Avoid errors when requesting an extension.

Signatures are needed for extension to file Form 5330, but not for extension to file Form 5500 series or Form 8955-SSA.

* A "one-participant plan," for purposes of the Form 5500-EZ, means a retirement plan not subject to the annual ERISA Title I reporting requirements that only covers the owner who owns the entire business (whether or not incorporated) and owner's spouse, or one or more partners, and their spouses in a business partnership (treating 2% shareholder of an S corporation, as defined in IRC Section 1372(b), as a partner).

A plan is not a one-participant plan if the plan benefits anyone besides the owner (or owner and spouse) or partners (or partners and their spouses).

Notices from the IRS

Did you receive a notice about your Form 5500 or 5500-EZ filing? These FAQs help you understand your notice.

Ask a Question

If you need help completing Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF:

  • Call the toll-free EFAST2 Help Desk at 866-463-3278, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., ET.
  • Visit the EFAST2 website for filing instructions, approved software vendors and more.
  • Contact Us - Telephone representatives will help answer basic questions such as filing requirements and due date for Form 5500, status of pending determination letter applications and responding to notices.

Additional resources