Beginning with the plan year 2009, plan sponsors of employee benefit plans are required to file their Form 5500 electronically using EFAST2.
This Q&A will address the electronic procedures and the Form 5500 from the plan sponsors perspective.
What is EFAST2?
In a nutshell, EFAST2 is the electronic Form 5500 filing system that was implemented in January of 2010. No more paper filing by registered mail is allowed (Form 5500 EZ’s can still file via snail mail). If a paper form is filed, the Form 5500 will not be processed.
If you have not requested your signing credentials via the EFAST2 website, you must do so before you will be able to electronically sign the Form 5500.
How do plan sponsors obtain an EFAST2 ID?
To create your account and signing credentials go to www.efast.dol.gov. Simply click on ‘Register’ on the left hand side of the screen to initiate the process. When registering, you should register only as a “Filing Signer”. The registration process should take no longer than 5-10 minutes.
Information you will need to register:
- Name and Mailing Address of the authorized signer
- Daytime Phone Number
- Email Address of the authorized signer
- Company Name
Upon completion at the site, you will receive an email from email@example.com with a link to retrieve your USER ID and PIN. Your registration will be complete once you visit the link and complete the final registration questions related to your PIN.
What happens if I forgot my EFAST2 ID?
If you cannot remember your signing credentials you must go to www.efast.dol.gov to retrieve the information. Simply click “Login” on the left side of the screen. You may either select “Forgot User Name” or “Forgot Password”. The system will verify the challenge question you answered during your initial registration. If you require additional assistance with your User ID or Password you may contact the EFAST Help Desk at (866)463-3278.
DWC prepares our firms Form 5500, how do I electronically file the Form 5500?
In order to review and file, you must login to DWC’s Form 5500 portal (home page, select Form 5500 submission).
Once logged in, you will be required to print a copy of your Form 5500 prior to signing. The Department of Labor requires all plan sponsors to maintain signed copies of the forms for their records. This copy must be made available, upon request, to participants, beneficiaries, and the DOL. Plan sponsors may use electronic media to store the copy as long as signatures are plainly visible.
After you electronically signed the Form 5500, the software will transmit the forms to the Department of Labor and will display the acceptance status, the date signed, date submitted and date accepted. Your status should indicate “submitted”, “in process”, “accepted” or “rejected”. If there is concern regarding the status of the submission, log on to www.efast.dol.gov to review the status. You may also contact your consultant for an update.
We will continue to post the Form 5500 and the SAR on our DWC Portal in the Government Reporting Section.
How do we know the Form 5500 was submitted and received by the DOL?
The electronic signer/transmitter will receive an ‘Acknowledgement ID’ immediately upon electronically signing the Form 5500 at our site.
As a ‘filing singer’ you can always log on to the EFAST2 system to review status to see if your Form 5500 has been accepted.
What happens if we have to extend the due date for the Form 5500?
This process remains unchanged; believe it or not, it is still a paper process. DWC Consultants will submit extensions in the first week of the seventh month following the plan year end for the following plans:
- Large Plan Filers - unless the plan audit is complete within 6 months following the plan year end
- Mid Year Plan Conversions – unless we have received the Plan Statement from the prior recordkeeping service provider/platform for the period - beginning of the plan year through the conversion date
- Advisor or Plan Sponsor request
The good news is you will no longer have to send or submit a copy of the extension along with the Form 5500.
The content of this website is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for specific tax, legal and/or financial advice that considers all relevant facts and circumstances.