Haynes and Boone, LLP
  April 9, 2002 - Dallas, Texas

ALERT: IRS Suspends 5500 Filing Requirements
  by Tim Powers

IRS SUSPENDS 5500 FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR CAFETERIA PLANS, EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PLANS, AND ADOPTION ASSISTANCE PLANS The Internal Revenue Service announced, in Notice 2002-24, that plan sponsors of cafeteria plans, educational assistance plans, and adoption assistance plans are excused indefinitely from the requirement to file Schedule F to Form 5500 for such plans. Thus, an employer whose health plan would not require the filing of a Form 5500 (e.g., the health plan is fully insured, unfunded, or both, and had fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year), but who was filing the Form 5500 because the plan had a pre-tax premium feature, will no longer have a Form 5500 filing requirement. The filing suspension applies to all plan years for which the 5500 has not yet been filed, including years prior to 2001. Thus, for plan years prior to 2001, plan sponsors should not seek relief under the Department of Labor's Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program or from the IRS for failure to file these forms. This notice does not affect ERISA’s other reporting and disclosure requirements, or relieve administrators of plans from any other obligation under ERISA to file a Form 5500 and other required schedules.

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