skip to page content
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
     DOL Home > Federal Register > Notices > EBSA
EBSA Notices

Revision of Annual Information Return/Reports   [3/1/2013]
[PDF]
Federal Register, Volume 78 Issue 41 (Friday, March 1, 2013)
[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 41 (Friday, March 1, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13899-13904]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04864]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employee Benefits Security Administration

RIN 1210-AB51


Revision of Annual Information Return/Reports

AGENCY: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of adoption of revisions to Annual Return/Report Forms.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document contains revisions to the Form 5500 Annual 
Return/Report filed by administrators of certain employee welfare 
benefit plans that are required to comply with the Form M-1 reporting 
requirements of 29 CFR 2520.101-2. The revisions are intended to 
enhance the Department of Labor's ability to enforce the Form M-1 
reporting requirements under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income 
Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). These forms revisions are 
being published simultaneously with final regulations under Title I of 
ERISA that implement reporting requirements for MEWAs and certain other 
entities that offer or provide coverage for medical care benefits for 
employees of two or more employers.

DATES: Effective Date: April 1, 2013. Applicability Date: These forms 
revisions will be applicable for all Form 5500 Annual Return/Report 
filings beginning with the 2013 Form 5500.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janet K. Song, Office of Regulations 
and Interpretations, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 
Department of Labor, at (202) 693-8523. This is not a toll-free number.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    Under Titles I and IV of ERISA, and the Internal Revenue Code 
(Code), as amended, and regulations issued thereunder, pension and 
welfare benefit plans are generally required to file an annual report 
concerning, among other things, the financial condition and operation 
of the plans. Filing the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee 
Benefit Plan (Form 5500 Annual Return/Report), including any required 
attachments and schedules, generally satisfies the annual reporting 
requirements. The Form 5500 Annual Return/Report is the principal 
source of information and data concerning the operations, funding and 
investments of pension and welfare benefit plans. The Form 5500 Annual 
Return/Report constitutes an integral part of the

[[Page 13900]]

enforcement, research and policy development programs of the Department 
of Labor (Department), the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension 
Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and is a source of information and data 
for use by other federal agencies, Congress, and the private sector in 
assessing employee benefit, tax, and economic trends and policies. The 
Form 5500 Annual Return/Report also serves as the primary means by 
which the operations of plans can be monitored by participants, 
beneficiaries, and the general public.
    In addition to filing the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report, certain 
employee welfare benefit plans that are multiple employer welfare 
arrangements (MEWAs), as defined in section 3(40) of ERISA, and 
Entities Claiming Exception (ECEs), as defined in Sec.  2520.101-2, are 
also subject to the reporting requirements under Sec.  2520.101-2, 
which are satisfied by filing a Form M-1, Report for Multiple Employer 
Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Other Entities Claiming 
Exception (ECEs) (Form M-1).

II. Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements and Certain Other Related 
Entities

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 
(HIPAA) (Pub. L. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936) amended ERISA to provide for, 
among other things, improved portability and continuity of health 
insurance coverage. HIPAA added section 101(g) to ERISA, providing the 
Secretary of Labor (Secretary) with the authority to establish, by 
regulation, annual reporting by MEWAs that are not themselves employee 
benefit plans within the meaning of ERISA section 3(3) (non-plan 
MEWAs). The purpose of the reporting requirement was to determine 
whether MEWAs were in compliance with the requirements created by 
HIPAA. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care 
Act), Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), amended section 101(g) 
of ERISA to require non-plan MEWAs to register with the Department 
prior to operating in a State.
    On February 11, 2000, the Department published an interim final 
rule implementing the Form M-1 regulation under Sec.  2520.101-2. 65 FR 
7152. On April 9, 2003, the Department published the final rule. 68 FR 
17494. Although ERISA section 101(g) by its terms only applies to non-
plan MEWAs, in order to effectuate MEWA compliance and based on the 
regulatory authority found in ERISA sections 505 and 734, the Form M-1 
regulation required administrators of non-plan MEWAs, plan MEWAs, and 
certain other entities \1\ to file the Form M-1 with the Secretary.\2\ 
ERISA sections 505 and 734 provide the Secretary with the authority to 
require plan MEWAs and ECEs to comply with the Form M-1 reporting 
requirements of Sec.  2520.101-2, but because ERISA section 101(g) only 
applies to non-plan MEWAs, only non-plan MEWAs are subject to civil 
penalties under ERISA section 502(c)(5) for failure to comply with the 
Form M-1 requirements.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The Form M-1 regulations require limited Form M-1 filing for 
certain group health plans that claim not to be a MEWA solely due to 
the exception in section 3(40)(A)(i) of ERISA for collectively 
bargained plans. These entities are referred to as Entities Claiming 
Exception or ECEs.
    \2\ In the preamble to the 2000 interim final rule, the 
Department explained ``[a]n important reason for requiring these 
groups to file is that the administrator of a MEWA may incorrectly 
determine that it is a group health plan or that it is established 
or maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. A 
reporting requirement limited only to MEWAs that are not group 
health plans may not result in reporting by many such MEWAs, thus 
greatly reducing the value of the data collected.'' See 65 FR 7152, 
7153 (Feb. 11, 2000).
    \3\ Pursuant to ERISA section 502(c)(5), a civil penalty of up 
to $1,100 (or higher amount if adjusted pursuant to the Federal 
Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended) a day 
may be assessed for each day a non-plan MEWA fails to file a 
complete Form M-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On December 6, 2011, the Department published in the Federal 
Register proposed rules on Filings Required of Multiple Employer 
Welfare Arrangements and Certain Other Related Entities, proposing 
amendments to the Form M-1 reporting regulation under ERISA section 
101(g) and the annual reporting regulations under ERISA sections 103 
and 104. The purpose of the proposed changes was to strengthen the Form 
M-1 reporting requirements for all plans required to file the Form M-1. 
76 FR 76222. Simultaneously, the Department published a notice of 
proposed forms revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report (76 FR 
76252) and a notice of proposed forms revisions to the Form M-1 (76 FR 
76250).
    The Department received six comments on the proposed amendments to 
the Form M-1 regulation and proposed form revisions to the Form M-1, 
but did not receive any comments on the proposed amendments to the 
annual reporting regulations under ERISA sections 103 and 104 or the 
proposed revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report. Therefore the 
Department has decided to adopt the changes to the annual reporting 
regulations under ERISA sections 103 and 104 and revisions to the Form 
5500 Annual Return/Report largely as proposed, except for technical 
changes to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and instructions to 
clarify the Form 5500 reporting requirements and conform them to the 
final Form M-1 regulation by making it clear that all plans required to 
file the Form M-1 (plan MEWAs and ECEs) are required to file a Form 
5500 and answer the new Form M-1 compliance questions on the Form 
5500.\4\ The changes to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and 
instructions are applicable for all Form 5500 Annual Return/Report 
filings beginning with the 2013 Form 5500. For the 2013 Form 5500, the 
compliance questions will be included in the Form 5500 instructions and 
welfare benefit plan filers will be required to include the answers as 
an attachment to their Annual Return/Report. A new Part III will be 
included in the Form 5500 for the 2014 Form 5500 and later year Forms 
5500. Elsewhere in this edition of the Federal Register, the Employee 
Benefits Security Administration is publishing the Final Rules amending 
the annual reporting regulations under ERISA sections 103 and 104 as 
part of the Final Rules on Filing Required of Multiple Employer Welfare 
Arrangements and Certain Other Related Entities (Final Rules).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Unlike plan MEWAs that are under a permanent requirement to 
file the Form M-1, 29 CFR 2520.101-2 requires an ECE to file the 
Form M-1 only during the three years following each origination 
event (an ECE may experience more than one origination event). 
Therefore, the Form 5500 rules relating to plans required to file 
the Form M-1 apply to ECEs only during the periods in which ECEs are 
required to file the Form M-1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Discussion of the Forms Revisions

    As in the proposal, the final forms revisions make compliance with 
the Form M-1 filing requirements an integral part of compliance with 
ERISA's Form 5500 annual reporting requirements for plans required to 
file the Form M-1 by requiring all such plans to file a Form 5500 
Annual Return/Report (with new Form M-1 compliance questions), 
regardless of the plan size or type of funding. The changes to the Form 
5500 and its instructions, together with companion Final Rules amending 
the annual reporting regulations under ERISA section 103 and 104, being 
published separately in today's Federal Register, accomplish several 
interrelated objectives.
    First, Sec.  2520.103-1 is being amended to codify the addition of 
Form M-1 compliance questions to the Form 5500. As in the proposal, the 
Final Rules amend the content of the annual report under Sec.  
2520.103-1 by requiring all plans subject to the Form M-1

[[Page 13901]]

requirements to include as part of the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report 
``[a]ny statements or information required by the instructions to the 
Form 5500 relating to information regarding compliance with the filing 
requirements under Sec.  2520.101-2.'' The forms revisions being 
adopted in this Notice implement this requirement by adding a new Part 
III to the Form 5500, which asks for information regarding whether an 
employee welfare benefit plan is subject to the Form M-1 filing 
requirements during the plan year, and if so, whether the plan is 
currently in compliance with the Form M-1 filing requirements under 
Sec.  2520.101-2. Plan administrators that indicate the plan is subject 
to the Form M-1 filing requirements must enter a Receipt Confirmation 
Code for the Form M-1 annual report or, if the plan was not required to 
file the Form M-1 annual report, the most recent Form M-1 required to 
be filed by the plan. This was adjusted slightly from the proposal to 
simplify the reporting requirement. The proposal asked for the Receipt 
Confirmation Code for the most recent Form M-1 including Form M-1 
filings (e.g., origination or registration filings) made after the 
latest Form M-1 annual report. Failure to answer the Form M-1 
compliance questions will subject the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report to 
rejection as incomplete and civil penalties may be assessed pursuant to 
ERISA section 502(c)(2). For the 2013 Form 5500 year, the Part III 
questions will be included in the Form 5500 instructions and welfare 
benefit plan filers will be required to include the answers to the new 
questions in a non-standard attachment. The new Part III will be 
included in the Form 5500 for the 2014 Form 5500 and later year Forms 
5500.
    Second, Sec.  2520.104-20 is being amended to ensure that all plan 
MEWAs and ECEs regardless of size or funding are required to answer the 
new Form M-1 compliance questions on the Form 5500. Section 2520.104-20 
now expressly provides that plans required to file the Form M-1 (plan 
MEWAs and ECEs) are not eligible for the exemption from filing a Form 
5500 that applies to certain unfunded, fully insured, and combination 
unfunded/insured small welfare plans. That change is being reflected in 
the changes to the instructions for the Form 5500 being adopted in this 
Notice. Unless those plans are required to file the Form 5500 with the 
new Form M-1 compliance questions, the Department would continue to 
have no ERISA civil penalty process to enforce compliance of the Form 
M-1 filing obligations of small plan MEWAs and ECEs.
    Third, Sec.  2520.103-1(c)(2) is being amended to provide that plan 
MEWAs and ECEs are not eligible to file the short form, Form 5500-SF, 
because the Form 5500-SF does not include specific Schedule A insurance 
information questions, and the Department believes that plan MEWAs and 
ECEs that claim to provide insured benefits should be required to 
complete the Schedule A to report information about the insurance 
policy and insurance company. That change is being reflected in the 
changes to the instructions to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF being 
adopted in this Notice.
    The burden of preparing and filing the Form 5500 Annual Return/
Report for the few small plan MEWAs and ECEs that may be affected by 
this change would be minimized because, in addition to being eligible 
for the otherwise available simplified annual reporting requirements 
for small welfare plans provided under Sec.  2520.104-41, plans that 
meet all of the requirements under Sec.  2520.104-44 are exempt from 
certain financial reporting and audit requirements (e.g., completing 
Schedule I (Financial Information)).\5\ Thus, many plan MEWAs and ECEs 
may only need to file a Form 5500 and, if applicable, Schedule A 
(Insurance Information) and Schedule G, Part III (to report any 
nonexempt transactions).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Neither this Notice nor the companion final regulations on 
``Filings Required of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements and 
Certain Other Related Entities'' change the eligibility requirements 
for the limited exemption under 29 CFR 2520.104-44. The Department 
expects that many plan MEWAs and ECEs will not satisfy the unfunded 
and insured eligibility requirements in the limited exemption and 
will continue to be ineligible for the reporting relief under 29 CFR 
2520.104-44.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Findings on the Revised Form 5500 Annual Return/Report as a Limited 
Exemption and Simplified Reporting

    Section 104(a)(2)(A) of ERISA authorizes the Secretary to prescribe 
by regulation simplified reporting for pension plans that cover fewer 
than 100 participants. Section 104(a)(3) of ERISA authorizes the 
Secretary to exempt any welfare plan from all or part of the reporting 
and disclosure requirements of Title I of ERISA or to provide 
simplified reporting and disclosure if the Secretary finds that such 
requirements are inappropriate as applied to such plans. Section 110 of 
ERISA permits the Secretary to prescribe for pension plans alternative 
methods of complying with any of the reporting and disclosure 
requirements if the Secretary finds that: (1) The use of the 
alternative method is consistent with the purposes of Title I of ERISA, 
provides adequate disclosure to plan participants and beneficiaries, 
and provides adequate reporting to the Secretary; (2) the application 
of the statutory reporting and disclosure requirements would increase 
costs to the plan or impose unreasonable administrative burdens with 
respect to the operation of the plan; and (3) the application of the 
statutory reporting and disclosure requirements would be adverse to the 
interests of plan participants in the aggregate. For purposes of Title 
I of ERISA, the filing of a completed Form 5500 Annual Return/Report, 
including the filing by eligible plans of the Form 5500-SF, in 
accordance with the instructions and related regulations, generally 
would constitute compliance with the simplified report, limited 
exemption and/or alternative method of compliance in Sec.  2520.103-1. 
In addition, section 505 of ERISA authorizes the Secretary to prescribe 
such regulations as the Secretary finds necessary or appropriate to 
carry out the provisions of Title I of ERISA.
    In revising the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and making the 
amendments to the Department's annual reporting regulations, the 
Department has attempted to balance the needs of participants and 
beneficiaries and the Department to obtain information necessary to 
protect ERISA rights and interests with the costs attendant with the 
reporting of information to the federal government. The Department 
finds under sections 104(a)(2)(A) and 104(a)(3) of ERISA that the use 
of the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report, with the new Form M-1 compliance 
questions, is consistent with the purposes of Title I of ERISA and 
provides adequate disclosure to participants and beneficiaries and 
adequate reporting to the Secretary.
    Taking into account the above, the Department has determined that 
these revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report are necessary and 
appropriate to carry out the provisions of Title I of ERISA. The 
revised Form 5500 Annual Return/Report also continues to provide for 
the reporting and disclosure of financial and other plan information 
described in section 103 of ERISA in a uniform, efficient, and 
understandable manner, thereby facilitating the disclosure of such 
information to plan participants and beneficiaries.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13)

[[Page 13902]]

(PRA), no persons are required to respond to a collection of 
information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. 
The Department notes that a Federal agency cannot conduct or sponsor a 
collection of information unless it is approved by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under the PRA, and displays a currently 
valid OMB control number, and the public is not required to respond to 
a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB 
control number. See 44 U.S.C. 3507. Also, notwithstanding any other 
provisions of law, no person shall be subject to penalty for failing to 
comply with a collection of information if the collection of 
information does not display a currently valid OMB control number. See 
44 U.S.C. 3512.
    The Department has filed a revision with OMB regarding the impact 
this Notice would have on the information collection request titled 
``Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan,'' which was 
approved by OMB under OMB Control Number 1210-0110 and is currently 
scheduled to expire on March 31, 2014. The final regulation titled 
``Filings Required of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements and 
Certain Other Related Entities,'' published elsewhere in today's issue 
of the Federal Register, revises the content of the Form 5500 to 
require an ERISA-covered plan that is subject to Form M-1 requirements 
to include ``[a]ny statements or information required by the 
instructions to the Form 5500 relating to information regarding 
compliance with the filing requirements under Sec.  2520.101-2.'' 
Accordingly, the Department is finalizing a new Part III to the Form 
5500, which asks for information regarding whether an employee welfare 
benefit plan is subject to the Form M-1 requirements during the plan 
year, and if so, whether the plan is currently in compliance with the 
Form M-1 requirements under Sec.  2520.101-2. Plan administrators that 
indicate the plan is subject to the Form M-1 requirements also would be 
required to enter the Receipt Confirmation Code for the Form M-1 annual 
report or the most recent Form M-1 filing made with the Department. 
Failure to answer the Form M-1 compliance questions will subject the 
Form 5500 Annual Return/Report to rejection as incomplete and civil 
penalties may be assessed pursuant to ERISA section 502(c)(2). The 
Department believes that the burden associated with this revision would 
be de minimis, because plan administrators would know whether the plan 
is subject to and in compliance with the Form M-1 requirements and they 
would have the Receipt Confirmation Codes readily available.
    The final rule also requires all plans subject to the Form M-1 
requirements to file Form 5500, regardless of the plan size or type of 
funding. The limited exemption available for certain small welfare 
plans that meet the requirements of Sec.  2520.104-20 is being amended 
to expressly state that plans subject to the Form M-1 requirements are 
not eligible for the exemption. In addition, such plans would not be 
eligible to file the Form 5500-SF. Although the Department does not 
have sufficient data to estimate the number of plan MEWAs and ECEs that 
may be affected by this revision, it expects the number to be small, 
because 90 percent of entities that file Form M-1 with the Department 
cover more than 100 participants. Moreover, the burden of preparing and 
filing the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report for the few small plans that 
might be affected by this rule would be minimal, because, in addition 
to being eligible for the simplified annual reporting requirements for 
small welfare plans provided under Sec.  2520.104-41, small plans that 
meet the requirements of Sec.  2520.104-44 are exempt from completing 
certain otherwise applicable financial reporting and audit 
requirements, such as completing the Schedule I (Financial 
Information). Thus, the affected plans may only need to file a Form 
5500 and, if applicable, Schedule A and Schedule G, Part III (to report 
any nonexempt transactions). The Department estimates that affected 
plans would incur a cost of $450 to engage a third-party service 
provider to prepare the form and schedules for submission. Any burden 
for small ECEs is even less because these plans are subject to the Form 
M-1 filing requirements only for the three year period following any 
origination event.

Appendix A--Changes to Existing Form 5500--A New Part III Is Added to 
the Form 5500 on Form M-1 Compliance

    For the 2013 Form 5500, the questions will be included in the 
Form 5500 instructions and welfare benefit plan filers will be 
required to include the answers as an attachment to their annual 
return/report. The new Part III will be included in the Form 5500 
for the 2014 Form 5500 and later year Forms 5500.

[[Page 13903]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN01MR13.000

Appendix B--Changes to Form 5500 Instructions

    The changes to the instructions to the Form 5500 are as follows:

Section 1: Who Must File

     The following instructions will be added to the 
instructions for Welfare Benefit Plan:
    Plans required to file a Form M-1, Report for Multiple Employer 
Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming Exception 
(ECEs), are not eligible for the filing exemption in 29 CFR 
2520.104-20 described below. Such plans are required to file the 
Form 5500 regardless of the plan size or type of funding.

Section 4: What To File

     The following instructions will be added to the 
instructions for General Schedules, Schedule I:

    Note. A welfare plan that would have been eligible for the 
filing exemption under 29 CFR 2520.104-20 but for the fact that it 
is required to file a Form M-1 is exempt from completing a Schedule 
I if it meets the requirements of 29 CFR 2520.104-44(b)(1).

     The following tip will be added to the instructions for 
Small Welfare Plan filing requirements:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN01MR13.001

Quick Reference Chart of Form 5500, Schedules, and Attachments (Not 
Applicable for Form 5500-SF Filers)

     The following sentence will be added at the end of 
footnote 3:
    All Plans required to file Form M-1, Report for Multiple 
Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming 
Exception (ECEs), must file an annual report regardless of plan size 
or type of funding.

Section 5: Line-by-Line Instructions for the Form 5500 and Schedules

     The following instructions for new Part III will be 
added as follows:

Part III--Form M-1 Compliance Information (to be completed by welfare 
benefit plans)

    Line 11a. All plans providing welfare benefits must complete 
Part III, line 11a by answering either ``Yes'' or ``No.'' Do not 
leave the answer blank. Check ``Yes'' and complete line 11, elements 
11b and 11c if the plan is a multiple employer welfare arrangement 
or an Entity Claiming Exception (ECE) subject to the Form M-1 filing 
requirements. If the answer is ``No,'' skip elements 11b and 11c of 
line 11.
    Generally, a Form M-1 annual report must be filed each year by 
March 1st following the calendar year in which a plan operates 
subject to the Form M-1 filing requirement. (For example, a plan 
MEWA that was operating in 2013 must file the 2013 Form M-1 annual 
report by March 1, 2014.) In addition, Form M-1 filings are 
necessary in the case of certain registration, origination, or 
special events. See the instructions for Form M-1, Report for 
Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities 
Claiming Exception (ECEs), http://www.askebsa.dol/gov/mewa, and 29 
CFR 2520.101-2 for more information regarding the Form M-1 filing 
requirements for plan MEWAs and ECEs.
    Line 11b. All plans that answered ``Yes'' in line 11a must 
complete line 11b by answering either ``Yes'' or ``No.'' Do not 
leave the answer blank.
    Line 11c. All plans that answered ``Yes'' in line 11a must enter 
a Receipt Confirmation Code for the 2013 Form M-1 annual report that 
was required to be filed with the Department under the Form M-1 
filing requirements. The Receipt Confirmation Code is a unique code 
generated by the Form M-1 electronic filing system. You can find 
this code under the ``completed filings'' area when you log into 
your Form M-1 electronic filing system at http://www.askebsa.dol/gov/mewa.
    If a plan was not required to file a 2013 Form M-1 annual 
report, enter the Receipt Confirmation Code for the most recent Form 
M-1 that was required to be filed under the Form M-1 filing 
requirements on or before the date of filing the 2013 Form 5500. 
(For example, if a plan was not required to file a 2013 Form M-1 
annual report by March 1, 2014 for the 2013 calendar year because it 
experienced a registration event between

[[Page 13904]]

October 1 and December 31, 2013, and made a timely Form M-1 
registration filing, the plan must enter on line 11c of the 2013 
Form 5500 the Receipt Confirmation Code issued for the Form M-1 
registration filing.)
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN01MR13.002

Instructions for Schedule G (Form 5500) Financial Transaction Schedules

     The following instructions will be added to the 
``Caution'' paragraph in Part III--Nonexempt Transactions:
    A Plan that is required to file a Form M-1, Report for Multiple 
Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming 
Exception (ECEs), but that is not required to file the Schedule I 
because it has fewer than 100 participants and meets the 
requirements of 29 CFR 2520.104-44, must complete Schedule G, Part 
III, to report nonexempt transactions.

Instructions for Schedule I (Form 5500) Financial Information--Small 
Plan

     The following instructions will be added to the 
``Exception'' paragraph under General Instructions for Who Must 
File:
    A Plan that is required to file a Form M-1, Report for Multiple 
Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming 
Exception (ECEs) is not required to file the Schedule I if it has 
fewer than 100 participants at the beginning of the plan year and 
meets the requirements of 29 CFR 2520.104-44.

Appendix C--Changes to Existing Form 5500-SF Instructions

General Changes

    The instructions to the Form 5500-SF will be updated to clarify 
that plans subject to the Form M-1 filing requirements (plan MEWAs 
and Entities Claiming Exception) are not eligible to file the Form 
5500-SF and must file the Form 5500, with all required schedules and 
attachments. The changes are as follows:

Who May File

     The following paragraph 6 will be added to the 
instructions:
    6. The plan is not required to file a Form M-1, Report for 
Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities 
Claiming Exception (ECEs) during the plan year.

Specific Line-by-Line Instructions (Form 5500-SF)

     The following paragraph 6 will be added to the 
instructions for Part II, Line 6:
    6. The plan is not required to file a Form M-1, Report for 
Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities 
Claiming Exception (ECEs) during the plan year.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 26th day of February 2013.
Phyllis C. Borzi,
Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 
Department of Labor.
[FR Doc. 2013-04864 Filed 2-28-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-29-P