U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 15, 2019
(a) General. (1) A trust or other entity described in § 2520.104-43(b) that files an annual report for purposes of § 2520.104-43 shall include in such report the items set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Contents. (1) A Form 5500 “Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan” and any statements or schedules required to be attached to the form, completed in accordance with the instructions for the form, including Schedule A (Insurance Information), Schedule C (Service Provider Information), Schedule D (DFE/Participating Plan Information), Schedule G (Financial Transaction Schedules), Schedule H (Financial Information), and the other financial schedules described in § 2520.103-10. See the instructions for this form.
(2) Separate financial statements (in addition to the information required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section), if such financial statements are prepared in order for the independent qualified public accountant to form the opinion required by section 103(a)(3)(A) of the Act and § 2520.103-2(b)(5). These financial statements shall include the following:
(i) A statement of all trust assets and liabilities at current value presented in comparative form for the beginning and end of the year. The statement of trust assets and liabilities shall include the assets and liabilities required to be reported on the Form 5500; however, the assets and liabilities may be aggregated into categories in a manner other than that used on Form 5500.
(ii) Separate or combined statements of all trust income and expenses and changes in net assets which includes the categories of income, expense, and changes in assets required to be reported on the Form 5500; however, the income, expense, and changes in assets may be aggregated into categories in a manner other than that used on Form 5500.
(3) Notes to the financial statements described in paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section which contain a description of the accounting principles and practices reflected in the financial statements and, if applicable, variances from generally accepted accounting principles; a description of the group insurance arrangement including any significant changes in the group insurance arrangement made during the period and the impact of such changes on benefits; a description of material lease commitments, other commitments, and contingent liabilities; a description of agreements and transactions with persons known to be parties in interest; a general description of priorities upon termination of the plan; an explanation of the differences, if any, between the information contained in the separate financial statements and the assets, liabilities, income, expenses and changes in net assets as required to be reported on the Form 5500; and any other matters necessary to fully and fairly present the financial condition of the plan.
(4) In the case of a group insurance arrangement some or all of the assets of which are held in a pooled separate account maintained by an insurance carrier, or in a common or collective trust maintained by a bank, trust company or similar institution, a copy of the annual statement of assets and liabilities of such account or trust for the fiscal year of the account or trust which ends with or within the plan year for which the annual report is made as required to be furnished by such account or trust under § 2520.103-5(c). Although the statement of assets and liabilities referred to in § 2520.103-5(c) shall be considered part of the group insurance arrangement's annual report, such statement of assets and liabilities need not be filed with its annual report. See §§ 2520.103-3 and 2520.103-4 for reporting requirements for plans some or all of the assets of which are held in a pooled separate account maintained by an insurance company, or a common or collective trust maintained by a bank or similar institution, and see § 2520.104-43(b)(2) for when the terms “group insurance arrangement” or “trust or other entity” shall be, respectively, used in place of the terms “plan” and “plan administrator.”
(5) A report of an independent qualified public accountant.
(i) Technical requirements. The accountant's report -
(A) Shall be dated;
(B) Shall be signed manually;
(C) Shall indicate the city and State where issued; and
(D) Shall identify without detailed enumeration the financial statements and schedules covered by the report.
(ii) Representations as to the audit. The accountant's report -
(A) Shall state whether the audit was made in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards; and
(B) Shall designate any auditing procedures deemed necessary by the accountant under the circumstances of the particular case, which have been omitted, and the reasons for their omission. Authority for the omission of certain procedures which independent accountants might ordinarily employ in the course of an audit made for the purpose of expressing the opinions required by paragraph (b)(5)(iii) of this section is contained in § 2520.103-8.
(iii) Opinion to be expressed. The accountant's report shall state clearly:
(A) The opinion of the accountant in respect of the financial statements and schedules covered by the report and the accounting principles and practices reflected therein; and
(B) The opinion of the accountant as to the consistency of the application of the accounting principles with the application of such priniciples in the preceding year, or as to any changes in such principles which have a material effect on the financial statements.
(iv) Exceptions. Any matters to which the accountant takes exception shall be clearly identified, the exception thereto specifically and clearly stated, and, to the extent practicable, the effect of the matters to which the accountant takes exception on the related financial statements given. The matters to which the accountant takes exception shall be further identified as to (A) those that are the result of DOL regulations and (B) all others.
(c) Electronic filing. See § 2520.104a-2 and the instructions for the Form 5500 “Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan” for electronic filing requirements. The trust or other entity described in § 2520.104-43(b) filing under this section must maintain an original copy, with all required signatures, as part of its records.