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A Better Partnership


Sep 2019
September 12, 2019

Last Call for “Multiple Employer Plans” to File a Correct Form 5500 or 5500-SF

If you have more than one employer contributing to your 401(k) plan, another retirement plan or any of your welfare plans, please take a moment to read this bulletin.

Many plans have more than one contributing employer. In many cases, those employers are closely-enough related that they are considered members of a “controlled group” or an “affiliated service group.” If you have determined that all of the employers contributing to your plan fall into one or both of these categories now, and that all have been in that category since January 1, 2014, then the rest of this bulletin does not apply to you (at least for now).

However, if (i) you have (or have had since 2014) a plan with more than one contributing employer, and (ii) you are unsure that all of the contributing employers are (and have been since 2014) members of a controlled group or affiliated service group, then your Form 5500 or 5500-SF reporting may need to identify all contributing employers. For 401(k) or other retirement plans you may have a “multiple employer plan” (MEP), and for welfare plans you may have a “multiple employer welfare arrangement” (MEWA).

If you have an MEP or MEWA, you must take steps no later than October 15, 2019, to complete your 2018 Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the affected plan or plans in a manner that reflects the plan’s status as an MEP or MEWA. Specifically, you must, as part of the Form 5500 or 5500-SF filing:


  • List all of the contributing employers by name and EIN;
  • Provide a good-faith estimate of the percentage of each employer’s total contributions (employer and participant) relative to the total contributions of all of the contributing employers for the plan year (some MEWAs are exempt from this requirement); and
  • Check the “special extension” box under Part I, Line D and enter “FAB 2019-01” as the description.

These requirements to identify all contributing employers and provide a good-faith estimate of their relative contributions will apply to all future Form 5500s or 5500-SFs for MEPs and MEWAs as well.

If you have already filed your Form 5500 or 5500-SF for 2018 for a plan that is or might be an MEP or MEWA without the requisite information, you should file an amended form no later than October 15, 2019.

If you are uncertain whether you have an MEP or MEWA, please contact a member of Warner’s Employee Benefits Practice Group noted below and we will help you make that determination.

NOTICE. Although we would like to hear from you, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Also, we cannot treat unsolicited information as confidential. Accordingly, please do not send us any information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you.

By clicking the ‘ACCEPT’ button, you agree that we may review any information you transmit to us. You recognize that our review of your information, even if you submitted it in a good faith effort to retain us, and even if you consider it confidential, does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could and will be used against you.

Please click the ‘ACCEPT’ button if you understand and accept the foregoing statement and wish to proceed.



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