5500 - What's the Point?

Providing employer-sponsored benefits is a great way to attract and retain talent, but it can also present risks for employers who don’t have help managing their plans or understand what is required with them to stay in compliance.  The Form 5500 Series can be another one of those challenges that employers, with 100 or more employees, face.

Filing reports regarding employer-sponsored health and welfare benefit plans are an essential task to every company, but what’s the point of the Form 5500?

The Form 5500 is documentation that is designed to satisfy the annual reporting requirements under ERISA and the IRS.  The Form 5500 provides the government with key details about an employer’s health and welfare plan(s). 

And with the help of the BASE® 5500 Solver, an employer can effectively prepare and file the Form 5500 electronically.  This comprehensive compliance solution generates the necessary compliant 5500 documents.  This innovative solution will help minimize the plan-related workload and report the important information regarding the health and welfare benefit plans to keep a business in compliance. 

The point is… filing Form 5500 is required if a business has employee benefit plans, and not complying comes with a cost.  The penalties for violating Form 5500 filing requirements are not only hefty but are adjusted each year for inflation.  For 2023, the price increased from $2,400 to $2,586 per day the filing is late.  Aside from late penalties, fines can be imposed for inaccuracies in form submissions, which is why business owners look to BASE® to guide them through the Form 5500 filing process.

Alicia Penton, a BASE® Sales Representative, recently enrolled a new client on the east coast who had several health benefit offerings.  They recently contracted with an HR consulting company and had them looking over their benefit plans.  Their medical and dental insurance increased to 120 participants in 2021, but no one knew that they had to file the Form 5500.  The company reached out to Alicia, and we were able to help them file 2021 and 2022 filings, guiding them through the DOL Delinquent Filers Voluntary Compliance Program.  Their fines were capped to a small, manageable amount vs. the potential thousands and thousands in fines for not filing. 

For more information on the BASE® 5500 Solver, contact BASE® at 888.386.9680 or visit www.BASEonline.com.

Expand Employee Wellness with Flexible Benefit Option

A (new) employee benefit option has been gaining popularity in recent years because it shows that a company genuinely cares about the well-being of their employees.  This benefit, known as a Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA), has seen an increase in popularity in recent years due to the flexibility it offers employers and employees.

The Lifestyle Spending Account is one of the most flexible fringe benefits an employer can provide their employees.  It has a positive impact on both employer and employees, helping to reduce stress, increasing morale and productivity, and encouraging healthy behaviors. 

The BASE® LSA is a customized post-tax spending account available to employers who want to promote healthy habits and the overall well-being of their employees.  Employees can use this health benefit to pay for their eligible expenses that promote physical, financial, and emotional well-being. 

Employers get to choose what expenses are covered and how much each employee gets to spend per plan year.  Plus, employers can use LSAs to address employees’ desire for higher compensation without permanently increasing wages.  Rather than invest in another well-being initiative that employees may or may not use, employers can help subsidize a variety of services, products, or experience to fit employees’ very different lifestyles. 

Employees can pay for things that promote their:

  • Physical well-being: athletic and exercise equipment, gym memberships, fitness trackers, marathon entry fees, nutritional supplements, and more.
  • Financial well-being: financial advisor, financial planning services, identity theft services, home purchase expense reimbursement, and more.
  • Emotional and other well-being: non-medical counseling services, personal development classes, hunting and fishing licenses, retreats, camping supplies, and more.  

Employers need to think differently about employee compensation, with salary and standard benefits packages no longer being enough to attract and retain top talent.  With endless options, LSAs offer the flexibility and simplicity to expand benefit options to provide a health and wellness benefit on customized terms. 

For more information on the BASE® Lifestyle Spending Account, contact BASE® at 888.386.9680 or visit www.BASEonline.com.