Form 5500-EZ Excess Participant Loans Project


Why did I receive a compliance check letter?

The Employee Plans Compliance unit (EPCU) contacted a sample of Form 5500-EZ filers identified in our records as having participant loans in excess of $50,000 per participant.

What is the EPCU attempting to determine?

The EPCU is attempting to determine if the participant loans are in compliance with Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 72(p) for participant loan limits. Our primary goal is to ensure that if the participant loans exceed the limits IRC Section 72(p), we educate and guide the participants/plan sponsors to correct the issue.

What actions do I need to take?

Please provide a response to the information request within 15 days of the date of the compliance check letter.  If you believe you have complied with the participant plan loan requirements, please provide an explanation. You may also furnish any other documents or clarifying material that you believe will be helpful for us to review. Please make every effort to make your responses as complete and accurate as possible.

Failure to provide the information requested could result in further action or an audit of your return.

If you have questions

We will be glad to answer any questions you have about the project and how it relates to you.  You may call the contact person at the number listed in the letter you received or by e-mail. Please include “5500 EZ Participant Loans Project” in the subject line of your email message, and your name, your phone number, and the best time to reach you. We cannot respond via e-mail. Also, we regret that we cannot respond to technical questions unrelated to your compliance check. 


Federal law permits most qualified retirement plans to provide for loans to participants and retain tax-favored status under the Internal Revenue Code. We are contacting plans that may have exceeded the allowable limit of $50,000 per participant on plan loans. Retirement plans may face disqualification if the plan does not comply with statutory participant plan loan requirements in form and operation.

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