New Form 5500 Reporting Requirements for MEPs

by: Rhonda Henry, CPA, APA and Sharon Howay

Download PDF

On November 10, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Interim Final Rule which can be found in it’s entirety at Federal Register | Revisions to Annual Return/Report-Multiple-Employer Plans.  This new rule was required as a result of the The Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act (CSEC Act), enacted on April 7, 2014.  The primary purpose of the CSEC Act was to amend the funding rules for Defined Benefit Plans of certain charities and cooperatives.  However, the Act also created additional reporting requirements for all MEPs covered by Title I of ERISA.   The interim rules will be applied to Plan Years beginning after December 31, 2013.  In addition, comments were solicited through January 9, 2015 and any changes to these interim rules will be applied to Plan Years beginning after December 31, 2014. 

The interim final regulation includes a definition of key terms: 

  • Multiple employer plan – a plan that is maintained by more than one employer and is not a “single employer plan” or a “multiemployer plan” for Form 5500 reporting purposes.
  • Participating employer – any employer who was obligated to make contributions for the plan year, made contributions to the plan for the plan year, or whose employees were covered under the plan.

For Plan Years beginning after December 31, 2013, all MEPs are required to include an attachment to their Form 5500 or 5500-SF that lists all participating employers and an estimate of the percentage of total contributions (employer and participant contributions) made by each employer relative to the total contributions made by all employers.  If a participating employer made no contributions, 0% should be entered on the attachment.  To assist employers in complying with the new reporting requirement, the 2014 Forms 5500 and 5500-SF have been updated in Part I, line A to include a parenthetical next to the “Multiple Employer Plan”  check box that tells filers who check the box to include the new attachment and directs them to the form instructions for further information.

This attachment does not replace any other required reporting for MEP filings.   The format to be used for reporting this information is set out in the instructions.  An example is shown below. 

Multiple-Employer Plan Participating Employer Information

Plan Name, EIN, Plan Number

Participating Employer EIN Percent of Total Contributions
ABC Company, Inc. 61-xxxxxxx 28%
DEF Industries, Inc. 61-xxxxxxx 16%
GHI Co, Inc. 61-xxxxxxx 56%
JKL Co, Inc. 61-xxxxxxx 0%


This reporting requirement would not apply to any “open” MEP that files a separate Form 5500 for each participating employer, since each is filing as a “single plan”.


Rhonda E. Henry joined RMS as an Account Executive in January, 2010. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. She is both a Certified Public Accountant and an Accredited Pension Administrator. Rhonda has over 20 years experience with defined contribution plan administration and has worked on all types of retirement plans, including both qualified and non-qualified plans. She is a member of the Louisville Employee Benefits Council and the National Institute of                                           Pension Administrators. Rhonda devotes most of her time at                                     RMS to defined contribution plan administration and                                               compliance testing.

After residing for twelve years in Central Kentucky, Sharon M. Howay returned to her Louisville roots in January, 2011 when she joined RMS as a Plan Specialist. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance. Sharon has over 4 years of retirement plan administration experience and recently completed the Qualified 401(k) Administrator credential. She devotes most of her time to defined contribution plan administration.


Let us help design and administer a Retirement Program that meets your needs.

Request a Quick Quote