July 28, 2015

Calendar-Year Retirement Plans that Need an Extension to Comply with the New Requirement to File Form 8955-SSA Electronically Should Apply by July 31, 2015

Form 8955-SSA is the form that plans subject to ERISA must file with the IRS in order to report information related to the benefits of terminated vested participants. Plans were required to file this Form beginning with the 2009 plan year on paper with an option to file electronically. Effective with the filing for the 2014 plan year, electronic filing of the Form 8955-SSA will be mandatory for many ERISA-covered retirement plans. The electronic filing requirement applies to plans that file 250 or more tax returns of any type during the calendar year that includes the first day of the plan year for which the Form is being filed. All types of tax returns are counted together for this purpose, including, 1099s and W-2s. Filings must be made using the IRS FIRE System.

Absent an extension, the effective date for electronic filing is July 31, 2015 for calendar-year plans. Calendar-year plans that are required to submit their Forms 8955-SSA electronically but are not yet set up to file electronically should consider applying for an extension of the July 31, 2015 filing date by filing an IRS Form 5558.

There is an automatic extension available to single employer plans if (1) the plan year and the sponsor’s tax year are the same and (2) the sponsor has already been granted a federal income tax filing extension(subject to certain limitations).

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