“2009 Form 8955-SSA and 2010 Form 5500-EZ Released,” Employee Plans News, Issue 2011-5, 6/22/2011
IRS has issued Form 8955-SSA with instructions for use in satisfying the reporting requirements of Code Sec. 6057(a) formerly met by use of Schedule SSA of the Form 5500 series. In addition, IRS has announced another extension of the Form 8955-SSA filing deadline for the 2009 and 2010 plan years to at least Jan. 17, 2012.
Schedule SSA of Form 5500, which had been used for Code Sec. 6057(a) requirements, was eliminated when the mandated electronic filing requirements for annual reports became effective with the 2009 plan year. IRS had said that Schedule SSA would be replaced by a new Form 8955-SSA. IRS later announced delays in releasing the Form 8955-SSA in Ann. 2011-21, 2011-12 IRB 567, then set extended due dates for the 2009 plan year—to no earlier than Aug. 1, 2011.
Background. Plan administrators of plans subject to ERISA §203’s vesting standards must file Form 8955-SSA. In addition, sponsors and administrators of government, church, and other plans (including plans that cover only owners and their spouses) which are not subject to ERISA's vesting standards may elect to voluntarily file the Form 8955-SSA. The form is used to report information about separated plan participants with deferred vested benefits. Specifically, a plan must report participants who have a deferred vested benefit under the plan and who:
... separated from service covered by the plan;
... were reported as deferred vested participants on another plan's filing if their benefits were transferred (other than in a rollover) to the plan during the covered period;
... previously were reported under the plan but have been paid out or are no longer entitled to those deferred vested benefits; or
... previously were reported under the plan but whose information is being corrected.
New form. The final version of the paper Form 8955-SSA is available for download from the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8955ssa.pdf. The form is a PDF that can be completed on-line, saved, and printed out. The PDF format also allows a plan administrator to add as many additional second pages as needed to identify separate participants with deferred vested benefits.
As noted in Ann. 2011-21, which extended the filing deadlines, the 2009 Form 8955-SSA may be used for both 2009 and 2010 filings. According to the instructions, a separate 2009 Form 8955-SSA may be used for each filing, or the two filings can be combined on one form. If a plan makes a combined filing, just the 2009 plan year beginning and ending dates should be entered in Part I of the form.
A set of frequently asked questions about Form 8955-SSA is also available on IRS's website (http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=238940,00.html).
The latest deadline. IRS promises to release guidance confirming the further extension of the filing due date for the 2009 and 2010 Form 8955-SSA. The new deadline will extend to the later of (1) Jan. 17, 2012, or (2) for 2010, the due date that generally applies for filing the Form 8955-SSA. However, even though the due date for filing Form 8955-SSA can usually be extended for an additional 2 1/2 months by filing Form 5558 (“Application for Extension of Time To File Certain Employee Plan Returns”), IRS warned that no further extension will be granted beyond the Jan. 17, 2012 due date.