How to Fill and File IRS Form 5500

How to Fill and File IRS Form 5500. IRS Form 5500 must be filed each year for every pension-benefit plan or entity that participates as a Direct Filing Entity (DFE) in certain trusts, accounts or other arrangements. Generally, the responsibility to fill out and file IRS forms rests with a plan administrator who contracts with your company to provide pension or other benefit plans.

Fill or Review Your Company's IRS Form 5500

Establish who will be responsible to fill out and file IRS Form 5500 whenever you establish or change a related pension or other benefit plan. Make sure the timetable for this work allows you time to review the document before it is filed.

Provide annual-report identification information, the name of the plan, the plan number and its effective date on the cover sheet above the signatures of the plan administrator and employer.

Provide full, detailed contact information for the plan administrator and sponsor on the corresponding lines.

Describe plan participation, benefits and funding arrangements on the corresponding lines.

Check the appropriate boxes under line 10 to indicate the documenting schedules that you are attaching to Form 5500, in accordance with printed instructions, and attach these schedules.

File IRS Form 5500

Sign and date Form 5500 at "SIGN HERE - Line b" on the bottom of page 1 if you are the individual signing as the employer, plan sponsor or DFE. You should sign and date the form after it has been signed and dated by the plan administrator. The plan administrator is the person responsible for filling out the form.

File Form 5500, or verify that it is filed, in accordance with "Section 3: Where to File" of the IRS Form 5500 Instructions.

Maintain your company's copies of all Form 5500s and associated documentation with your company's business records.


  • Maintain a file of each year's IRS Form 5500 instructions in the same place in which you file the forms and supporting documents. Form 5500 instructions are generally over 60 pages long and contain important information applicable to your benefit plan. Although your plan administrator will generally fill out and file IRS Form 5500, the form must be signed by both the plan administrator and the employer, plan sponsor or DFE. If you are the employer, you are legally responsible for all the information provided in Form 5500, as well as its timely filing.

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