The Department of Labor has issued a proposed rule that would affect the Form 5500 annual reporting requirements for ERISA plans.
The bulk of the proposed rule applies to pension plans, and we will report on this in a separate blog. However, one part of the proposal would affect reporting requirements for multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs).
- MEWAs that are health plans are required to report participating employer information on their Form 5500s.
- However, some MEWAs that offer medical benefits are not considered health plans under ERISA.
- This includes certain “entrepreneurial” MEWAs and other arrangements that do not meet the commonality of interest and control requirements that would make a MEWA an ERISA plan. Such arrangements are not required to file Form 5500s, and participating employer information for those entities is not captured.
- All MEWAs offering medical benefits are required to file an annual Form M-1, regardless of whether the MEWA itself is considered an ERISA plan.
- Under the proposed rule, the list of participating employers would no longer be filed as part of the Form 5500, but would instead be an element of Form M-1.
- Plan MEWAs that provide other benefits, and thus are not required to file a Form M-1 (i.e., life and disability benefits) would continue to report the participating employer information as an attachment to the Form 5500.
- If adopted, the proposed rule applies to reporting for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.