The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration issued a
notice Jan. 28 officially outlining technical changes to the Delinquent Filer
Voluntary Compliance Program since the program's last comprehensive update in
DOL has periodically updated its DFVC Program website to reflect changes, the
notice said. The previous update was to reflect the final regulation mandating
electronic filing of Form 5500 annual reports through the EFAST2 system (102
PBD, 5/29/07; 34 BPR 1268, 6/5/07), DOL said.
The notice “is intended to be a comprehensive update and restatement of the
DFVC Program that incorporates the changes that have been made in the DFVC
Program since the 2002 Notice,” DOL said.
The technical updates in the notice “incorporate an existing voluntary online
penalty calculator and web payment system into the DFVC Program. The updates
also fully integrate the DFVC Program into the EFAST2 electronic filing system,
including a Form 5500 Version Selection Tool … which helps filers determine
which forms they need to use when filing electronically for past years,” DOL
said in a news release announcing the changes.
The delinquent filer voluntary compliance program allows eligible plan
administrators to lessen the assessment of civil penalties for failure to file
Form 5500 annual reports. Eligible administrators are considered those who have
not been notified of a failure to file by the DOL. To participate in the
program, administrators must file complete Form 5500s with accompanying
schedules, for each year they have not been filed and for which relief is
The basic penalty under the program is $10 per day for delinquent filings.
The maximum penalty for a single late annual report is $750 for a small plan
(generally a plan with fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan
year) and $2,000 for a large plan.
The changes in the notice will make the program “better integrated with the
DFVC Program website that is used for announcing non-substantive, technical
adjustments to the Program,” DOL said.
The Internal Revenue Service intends to release separate guidance providing
relief under the tax code for delinquent filings of Forms 5500 and 5500-SF
“where the conditions of this DFVC Program and any requirements imposed by the
IRS under such separate guidance have been satisfied,” DOL said.
Additionally, the notice said the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will
provide some penalty relief under Employee Retirement Income Security Act
Section 4071 for delinquent filings of annual reports when the requirements of
the DFVC program are satisfied.
The changes to the program are effective Jan. 29, when the notice will be
published in the Federal Register.