provides direct links to the workplace posters employers are required to
display under state law. These posters, including official translated versions,
are created and updated by state agencies. Employers must also comply with all
applicable federal posting requirements.
Employers must display required posters in a public place where employees can easily access them. While most posters apply to all employers within the state, some may apply to specific industries or employers. Employers can review each poster description to determine whether they are required to display that particular poster.
New and Updated Posters
Minimum wage poster (01/20)
Clean Indoor Air Act requirement
Workers’ Compensation Anti-fraud notice
The following posters are required for all employers in
employee benefit plan administrators are generally required to file a return/report
regarding the plan’s financial condition, investments and operations. The
annual reporting obligation is generally satisfied by filing the Form 5500
Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan or Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual
Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan, plus any required schedules and
attachments. The Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and
the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) jointly developed the Form 5500
series to consolidate the main annual reporting requirements for employee
5500 series is intended to protect the rights and benefits of plan participants
and beneficiaries by assuring that:
Employee benefit plans are operated and managed in accordance with certain prescribed standards
Employee benefit plan participants and beneficiaries are provided with or have access to sufficient plan information
addition, the Form 5500 series is an important compliance, research and
disclosure tool for the DOL. It is also a source of information and data for
use by other federal agencies, Congress and the private sector in assessing
employee benefit, tax and economic trends and policies.
An employee benefit plan’s Form 5500 or 5500-SF must accurately reflect the plan’s characteristics and operations for the reporting period. An employee benefit plan administrator’s reporting obligations under the Form 5500 or 5500-SF will vary based on the type and size of benefit plan involved. For example, the administrator of an insured health plan will typically have significantly fewer reporting obligations than the administrator of a large pension plan.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Form 5500 Series
Am I required to file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for my employee benefit plan?
of ERISA employee benefit plans are required to file an annual Form 5500 or
5500-SF, unless a reporting exemption applies. More specifically, if you are
the administrator of a profit sharing plan, stock bonus plan, money purchase
plan, 401(k) plan, defined benefit plan, 403(b) plan or welfare benefit plan,
you must file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the plan each year.
Certain welfare benefit plans are exempt from
all or part of the Form 5500 series reporting requirements. For
example, there is an exemption from Form 5500 series reporting for small
welfare benefit plans (fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan
year) that are unfunded, fully insured or a combination of unfunded and fully
insured. More information on which welfare benefit plans are exempt from the
filing requirement is provided below.
The Form 5500 filing requirement does not apply to cafeteria plans based on the rationale that cafeteria plans are merely funding vehicles. However, a Form 5500 or 5500-SF is required for any component benefit plan that is an ERISA welfare plan (for example, health FSAs and dental, long-term disability, AD&D and group term life plans), unless an exemption applies.
To illustrate, assume an employer maintains a cafeteria plan to allow employees to pay their health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars. All ten of the employer’s employees participate in both the cafeteria plan and the underlying fully insured health plan. In this scenario, the employer does not need to file a Form 5500 for the cafeteria plan, and no reporting is required for the health plan because it falls under the Form 5500 filing exemption for small and fully insured welfare benefit plans.
As another illustration, assume the same facts, except that there are 250 employees participating in both the cafeteria plan and underlying fully insured health plan. In this scenario, a Form 5500 is not required for the cafeteria plan, but the employer must annually file a Form 5500, with all required schedules and attachments, to satisfy the ERISA reporting requirement for the health plan.
Which welfare plans must file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF?
Large funded plans
Large unfunded plans
Large insured plans
Large combination unfunded/insured plans
Small funded plans
Small unfunded plans
Small insured plans
Small combination unfunded/insured plans
Unfunded or insured plans for certain
select employees (management or highly compensated employees)
Employer-sponsored day care centers
Certain apprenticeship and training plans
Plans not subject to ERISA
Multiple employer welfare
arrangements (MEWAs) that are required to file a Form M-1 (“Report for Multiple
Employer Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming Exception (ECE)”)
must file Form 5500 regardless of plan size or the type of funding (including
small unfunded or insured welfare plans).
What is a small plan?
plans are those with fewer than 100 covered participants at the beginning of
the plan year.
Who are covered participants?
are covered by the plan on the earlier of: (1) the date the plan says
participation begins; (2) the date the individual become eligible to receive a
benefit; or (3) the date the individual makes a voluntary or mandatory
payment. Participants may include
employees and former employees (for example, COBRA beneficiaries).
dependents are NOT counted as participants when determining if a plan qualifies
for the small plan exemption.
What is an unfunded plan?
plans are those where benefits are paid solely from the general employer assets
and not from plan assets in whole or in part. Participant contributions (except
if accepted through a cafeteria plan) are plan assets under DOL regulations. Also,
a plan that uses a trust or separately maintained fund to hold plan assets (or act
as a conduit for the transfer of plan assets) is not unfunded.
What is an insured plan?
plans are those where benefits are paid solely through insurance policies.
Premiums must be paid directly by the employer from its general assets.
Alternatively, premiums may be paid partly from an employer’s general assets
and partly by participant contributions, which the employer forwards no later
than three months after receipt.
Am I eligible to file a Form 5500-SF for my employee benefit plan?
small employee benefit plan filers may use the Form 5500-SF instead of the
regular Form 5500. Form 5500-SF is a simplified annual reporting form. To be
eligible to use Form 5500-SF, an employee benefit plan must:
Have fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year
Meet the conditions for exemption from the plan audit requirement
Have all of its assets invested in certain secure investments with a readily determinable fair value
Hold no employer securities
Not be a multiemployer plan
Not be required to file a Form M-1
How do I electronically file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF for my employee benefit plan?
5500 and 5500-SF, including required schedules and attachments, must be filed
electronically using the DOL’s EFAST2 electronic filing system. Administrators
cannot file paper annual reports by mail or other delivery service.
EFAST2, plan filers may choose to use either approved third-party vendor
software or the DOL’s Web-based filing system (IFILE) to prepare and submit
Forms 5500 or 5500-SF. Third-party vendor software typically offers more
functionality than IFILE. For example, some third-party vendor software may
support transmission of batch filings and may integrate with a plan filer’s
system to automatically complete some of the required Form 5500 or 5500-SF information.
IFILE can only transmit single filings, and it does not integrate with a
filer’s system to help complete the annual report.
filers must obtain EFAST2 electronic credentials to sign and/or submit the Form
5500 or 5500-SF, or to prepare a return in IFILE. In addition to the online
resources noted above, plan filers may obtain assistance through the toll-free
EFAST2 Help Line at 1-866-463-3278.
How many Forms 5500 or 5500-SF do I need to file?
benefits provided by a single business entity, the number of annual reports to
file depends on how many separate ERISA plans the plan sponsor maintains. A
plan sponsor can determine how many separate ERISA plans it maintains by
reviewing its employee benefit plan documents. For plan sponsors that are part
of a controlled group, generally only one Form 5500 or 5500-SF is required for
each employee benefit plan maintained by the controlled group. However, in a
controlled group setting, consideration must be given to whether or not the
funds contributed by controlled group members are available to provide benefits
to all eligible employees of the controlled group.
sponsors may decide to combine more than one type of ERISA welfare benefit into
a single plan to consolidate annual reporting. The intention to combine
benefits into a single plan should be reflected in the governing plan
documents, such as a wrap document. If ERISA welfare benefits are combined into
a single plan, the plan administrator would generally only be required to
annually file one Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the plan’s benefits.
What is the deadline for filing Form 5500 or 5500-SF?
or 5500-SF must generally be filed by the last day of the seventh month
following the end of the plan year, unless an extension applies. For calendar
year plans, the deadline is normally July 31 of the following year.
How can I obtain an extension for filing Form 5500 or 5500-SF?
administrator may request a one-time extension of two and one-half months by
filing IRS Form 5558 by the unextended due date of the Form 5500 or 5500-SF. If
the Form 5558 is filed on or before the normal due date of the Form 5500 or
5500-SF, the extension is automatically granted.
addition, an automatic extension for filing Form 5500 or 5500-SF until the due
date of the employer’s federal income tax return will apply if: (1) the plan
year and the employer’s tax year are the same; (2) the employer has been
granted an extension of time for filing its federal income tax return to a date
later than the normal due date for the Form 5500 or 5500-SF; and (3) the
administrator maintains a copy of the application for extending the due date of
the employer’s federal tax return. This automatic extension cannot be further
extended by using Form 5558, and it cannot extend beyond a total of nine and
one-half months following the close of the plan year.
Am I required to file a Form 5500 or 5500-SF if the employee benefit plan was terminated during the prior year?
Yes. If an
employee benefit plan was terminated last year, a final Form 5500 or 5500-SF is
generally due on the last day of the seventh month following the date of the
plan termination. The last annual report for a plan is called a “terminal
report.” The terminal report cannot be filed until all the plan’s assets have
been distributed or legally transferred, or all benefit liabilities under a
welfarebenefit plan have been satisfied.
What is my employee benefit plan’s number?
employer assigns the plan number. The plan number should appear in the plan’s
summary plan description. Once a plan number has been used for a plan, it
should not be used for any other plan, even if the first plan has been
terminated. Generally, retirement plans are numbered sequentially from 001, and
welfare benefit plans are numbered sequentially from 501.
Who do I contact if I have questions about completing Form 5500 or 5500-SF?
to your filing questions, please contact your tax advisor or the DOL’s Employee
Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) at 1-866-463-3278. You may find answers
to your questions by referring to the online resources noted above.
What are the penalties for not complying with the Form 5500 or 5500-SF requirements?
and IRS can assess penalties for noncompliance with the annual reporting
requirements, including submitting incomplete Forms 5500 or 5500-SF or not
filing Forms 5500 or 5500-SF by the due date. For example, the DOL has the
authority under ERISA to assess penalties of up to $2,233 per day for each day
an administrator fails or refuses to file a complete Form 5500 or 5500-SF.
penalties may be waived if the noncompliance was due to reasonable cause. The
IRS can also impose civil penalties for noncompliance with certain Form 5500 or
5500-SF reporting obligations. In addition, ERISA provides for criminal
penalties for willful violations of its reporting requirements.
typically sends a Notice of Intent to Assess a Penalty to notify filers of a
proposed DOL penalty due to a late or incomplete annual return. The CP 283
Notice is sent to notify filers of a proposed IRS penalty due to a late or
incomplete Form 5500, 5500-SF or 5500-EZ return.
What is the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) program?
program was created by the DOL to encourage employee benefit plan
administrators to voluntarily file overdue annual reports and pay reduced civil
penalties. Plan administrators are eligible to use the DFVC program only if
they make the required filings prior to being notified in writing by the DOL of
a failure to file a timely annual report.
To use the
DFVC program, plan administrators should take the following steps:
Complete the Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the year at issue, or the most current form available
Check box D of the Form 5500 or box C of the Form 5500-SF
Electronically file the delinquent Form 5500 or 5500-SF under EFAST2
Use the DFVC’s online calculator to determine the penalty amount and pay the penalty
Under the DFVC program, penalties
can be paid online or by mail, although the DOL strongly encourages electronic
the DFVC program only reduces the penalty amounts under ERISA, the IRS has also
agreed to provide penalty relief where the conditions of the DFVC program have
been satisfied. Late filers of the Form
5500 series qualify for penalty relief from the IRS if they complete the
Complete the Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the year at issue, or the most current form available
Satisfy all of the DFVCP requirements;
File a paper form 8955-SSA with the IRS (no electronic filings);
Check the box on Form 8955-SSA, Part I, line C (Special Extension) and enter “DFVCP” in the description on line C; and
Mail the Form 8955-SSA and the delinquent returns to the IRS within 30 calendar days of the DFVCP filing.
The PBGC may provide certain penalty relief for delinquent annual returns/reports filed for Title I plans where the conditions of the DFVCP have been satisfied.
We hope you found this article helpful and informative. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions. We are always here to help.
High-profile cyber attacks on companies such as Target and Sears
have raised awareness of the growing threat of cyber crime. Recent surveys
conducted by the Small Business Authority, Symantec, Kaspersky Lab and the
National Cybersecurity Alliance suggest that many small business owners are
still operating under a false sense of cyber security.
The statistics of these studies are grim; the vast majority of
U.S. small businesses lack a formal internet security policy for employees, and
only about half have even rudimentary cybersecurity measures in place.
Furthermore, only about a quarter of small business owners have had an outside
party test their computer systems to ensure they are hacker proof, and nearly
40 percent do not have their data backed up in more than one location.
Don’t Equate Small with Safe
Despite significant cybersecurity exposures, 85 percent of small
business owners believe their company is safe from hackers, viruses, malware or
a data breach. This disconnect is largely due to the widespread, albeit
mistaken, belief that small businesses are unlikely targets for cyber attacks.
In reality, data thieves are simply looking for the path of least resistance. Symantec’s
study found that 43 percent of attacks are against organizations with fewer
than 250 employees.
Outside sources like hackers aren’t the only way your company can
be attacked—often, smaller companies have a family-like atmosphere and put too
much trust in their employees. This can lead to complacency, which is exactly
what a disgruntled or recently fired employee needs to execute an attack on the
Attacks Could Destroy Your Business
As large companies continue to get serious about data security,
small businesses are becoming increasingly attractive targets—and the results
are often devastating for small business owners.
According to a 2017 study by the Ponemon Institute, the average annual
cost of cyber attacks for small and medium-sized businesses was over $2.2
million. Most small businesses don’t have that kind of money lying around, and
as a result, nearly 60 percent of the small businesses victimized by a cyber attack
close permanently within six months of the attack. Many of these businesses put
off making necessary improvements to their cyber security protocols until it
was too late because they feared the costs would be prohibitive.
10 Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks
Even if you don’t currently have the resources to bring in an
outside expert to test your computer systems and make security recommendations,
there are simple, economical steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling
victim to a costly cyber attack:
Train employees in cyber security principles.
Install, use and regularly update antivirus and
antispyware software on every computer used in your business.
Use a firewall for your internet connection.
Download and install software updates for your
operating systems and applications as they become available.
Make backup copies of important business data
Control physical access to your computers and
Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi
network for your workplace make sure it is secure and hidden.
Require individual user accounts for each
Limit employee access to data and information,
and limit authority to install software.
Regularly change passwords.
In addition to the listed tips, the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) provides a tool for small businesses that can create and save a custom
cyber security plan for your company, choosing from a menu of expert advice to
address your specific business needs
and concerns. It can be found at www.fcc.gov/cyberplanner.
Your Emerging Technology Partner
A data breach could cripple your small business, costing you
thousands or millions of dollars in lost sales and/or damages. Contact Morris
& Reynolds Insurance today. We have the tools necessary to ensure you have
the proper coverage to protect your company against losses from cyber attacks.
State health insurance mandates are laws regulating the terms of coverage for insured health plans. Mandates can affect various parts of health insurance plans as follows:
Benefit mandates require health insurance plans to cover specific treatments, services or procedures.
Provider mandates require health insurance plans to pay for services provided by specific health care professionals. Often, provider mandates are in the form of nondiscrimination mandates that require coverage only if the health plan already reimburses services within the scope of the health care professional’s practice.
Person mandates require health insurance plans to cover specific categories of people.
Additonal mandates for health plans exist at the federal level. For example, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires non-grandfathered health plans in the small group and individual markets to provide coverage for certain items and services designated as “essential health benefits.” Health plan sponsors and issuers should work with their advisors to determine how to comply with applicable federal and state mandates.
This Employment Law Summary contains charts outlining Florida’s benefit, provider and person mandates for group health insurance policies (referred to as “plans” throughout this document).
Uber, Lyft and other
ride-sharing services can make it easy to get a quick car ride or make some
extra income, and they’re only becoming more popular. In fact, in the cities
where these platforms are available, taxi ridership has declined anywhere from
10%-30%. However, the convenience of ride-sharing isn’t without risks. Most
ride-sharing businesses are in the early stages of development, and the
popularity, risk management and compliance issues they’re facing are all in
How the Apps Work
Each ride-sharing service has
its differences, but they all operate under the same basic concept. Almost
anyone can be a driver for these services, but each one has different minimum
standards for screening drivers and their vehicles. Passengers can then see
available drivers and make a request for a ride through an app on their
Most apps display the
driver’s route and estimated time of arrival, in addition to the driver’s name,
photo and vehicle information. The ride-sharing service then takes a cut of the
fare, typically between 20%-25%, for each ride a driver completes.
These apps are convenient for
passengers who need a ride and for drivers looking to supplement their income.
Still, they’re not without flaws. For example, it can be hard to determine what
regulations or local laws each service and its drivers need to follow, what
insurance coverages apply to them and who is considered liable in the event of
When Insurance Kicks In
Since ride-sharing drivers
use their vehicles for both business and personal purposes, the ride-sharing
services have to clarify when drivers are covered by different types of
When a driver is not
accepting rides, his or her personal auto insurance is the primary coverage.
When the driver turns the app on, but has not yet accepted a ride, ride-sharing
services generally offer contingent liability coverage if the driver’s personal
auto insurance does not offer protection. When a passenger is picked up, the
service’s policy is the primary policy until the end of the ride.
Unlike taxis, which are
regulated on a city-by-city basis and have to follow specific guidelines,
ride-sharing services haven’t had to adhere to the same strict regulations.
However, this is beginning to change—some states are enacting laws to set
standards and insurance requirements for ride-sharing. Additionally, upcoming
court decisions will help determine who will be held liable for ride-sharing
accidents in the future.
Some ride-sharing companies
provide liability insurance for their drivers in excess of their personal
liability coverage. However, this doesn’t mean that drivers have insurance
coverage for all of their risks.
Drivers can be dropped by
their insurance company if they engage in a commercial activity on a personal
auto policy. As a result, drivers need to be honest about how they intend to
use their vehicles when they obtain insurance. If a driver fails to indicate
the intention to drive for commercial purposes, the insurer could not only deny
claims, but also drop the driver from the policy entirely.
However, some insurers have
created hybrid policies that allow drivers to switch between personal and
When a passenger gets into a
car arranged by a ride-sharing app, he or she automatically agrees to a number
of terms and conditions. If the driver gets into an accident and the passenger
is hurt, there’s no guarantee that the driver’s insurance company or the
ride-sharing service will pay for damages.
For example, a driver’s
personal insurance company may decide that he or she was driving for profit
and, for that reason, isn’t required to pay any medical bills. The passenger
would then need to take the driver to court for damages, which can be a costly
and time-consuming process. On the other hand, passengers can approach taxi
companies directly regarding liability and other safety issues.
Safety is also a concern for
both drivers and passengers. A driver never knows the type of person about to
get into the back seat. Likewise, a passenger only knows how reliable a driver
is from the information a ride-sharing service shares about the driver on its
Tips for Passengers
Using a ride-sharing app is
generally a safe and reliable method of transportation, but there are safety
risks to consider. Keep these safety tips in mind when using ride-sharing
Share your trip details with a friend or family
member in case a ride goes unexpectedly. Some apps allow you to share your
route and driver information.
Before you get in the car, check that the
driver’s photo, name and license plate match what’s listed on the app.
Never enter a car with a driver who offers you a ride and claims to be
with a ride-sharing service.
Never share any personal information that the
driver doesn’t need to complete the ride. This includes phone numbers, as
ride-sharing apps typically anonymize their passengers’ phone numbers to
protect their privacy.
Always wear your seat belt. If the car you’re
riding in doesn’t have one or appears to be unsafe, instruct your driver
to pull over and cancel the ride.
Report any unsafe driving on the ride-sharing app
While ride-sharing services evolve to meet the safety needs of drivers and passengers, insurance companies are taking different approaches to claims. Contact us at 305.238.1000 to discuss your auto insurance coverage and make sure you’re always protected.