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The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group, A Professional Corporation, is a nationally recognized ERISA & employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor & human resources practice. 


Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group has 24 attorneys engaged exclusively in employee benefits, estate planning and employment law. Six of our attorneys are AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell as having very high to preeminent legal abilities and ethical standards. The firm is among the largest ERISA boutiques in the country. Our practice is national in scope, with clients in more than 40 states and several foreign countries.





Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110

Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

300 Montgomery Street

Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
100 South 4th Street, Suite 550
St. Louis, MO  63102 







July 21, 2016


 Health and Welfare Law Alert




  Agencies Propose Revisions to Forms 5500 Filed by Welfare Benefit Plans






The DOL, IRS and PBGC have issued proposed regulations that significantly revise the Form 5500 reporting requirements.  The revisions would eliminate the exemption for small employer plans and introduce a new Schedule J for group health plans.



Proposed Regulations.  The proposed regulations greatly expand the scope of information required to be reported on Form 5500 by virtually every type of employee benefit plan, including welfare benefit plans.  Some of the proposed revisions to Form 5500 affecting welfare benefit plans include: 


  • Requiring all ERISA-covered welfare benefit plans that provide group health coverage to file Forms 5500, regardless of size, whether they are funded with a trust, unfunded, fully insured or a combination of unfunded/insured. 


NOTE:  Currently, fully insured and unfunded welfare benefit plans with fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year (i.e., "small" plans) are exempt from filing Form 5500.


  • Excluding small welfare benefit plans that provide group health benefits from eligibility to use Form 5500-SF. 
  • Adding more information to the Form 5500 concerning plan terminations and mergers.
  • Requiring all small welfare benefit plan Forms 5500 to include Schedules C (to report service provider information).
  • Requiring a new Schedule J for group health plans that, with certain exceptions, would require: 

o The number of persons receiving COBRA coverage.
o Whether the plan offers coverage for employees,   retirees, and dependents.
o The type of group health benefits offered under the plan.
o The plan's grandfathered status.
o Whether the plan is a high-deductible health plan, health flexible spending account plan or a health reimbursement arrangement.
o Stop loss premium, attachment point, individual claim limit, and aggregate claim limit information.
o Employer and participant contribution information.
o Detailed claims payment data.
o Information on compliance with the Summary Plan  Description, Summary of Material Modifications, and Summary of Benefits and Coverage content requirements. 
o Information on compliance with applicable federal laws and DOL regulations (e.g., the Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, GINA, WHCRA).



Takeaway for Employers.  Due to the significant civil penalties that apply to Form 5500 failures and increased scrutiny from the agencies that will result from such failures, plan sponsors are advised to begin reviewing the proposed Form 5500 revisions in preparation for meeting these new reporting requirements.  However, there is no doubt that the added complexities of these proposed reporting requirements will be met with stiff resistance from the employee benefit community.







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This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.