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Form 8955-SSA Replaces Schedule SSA

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that a new Form 8955-SSA (“Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits”) has replaced Schedule SSA to the Form 5500.

Under Section 6057(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, a plan administrator must report certain information regarding plan participants who separated from service with deferred vested benefits. In the past, this reporting requirement was satisfied by submitting a Schedule SSA (“Annual Registration Statement for Deferred Vested Participants”) along with a plan’s Form 5500. However, Schedule SSA was eliminated from the Form 5500 package beginning with the 2009 plan year. This was done to comply with the Department of Labor’s electronic filing procedures (known as “EFAST2”).

According to IRS Announcement 2011-21, the IRS and the Social Security Administration have jointly developed a Form 8955-SSA to satisfy the Section 6057(a) reporting requirement for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2009. A draft of the Form 8955-SSA for use with the 2009 plan year has just been issued, and a 2010 version should be available later this year.

Generally, Form 8955-SSA must be filed with the IRS by the last day of the seventh month following the last day of the plan year (plus extensions). As with the Form 5500, Plan administrators may obtain an extension of time to file a Form 8955-SSA by filing a Form 5558.  However, in order to give plan administrators additional time to complete and file Forms 8955-SSA for the 2009 and 2010 plan years, the IRS has extended the due date for both filings to the later of (1) the due date that would otherwise apply to the 2010 Form 8955-SSA, or (2) August 1, 2011.

The IRS has also developed a voluntary electronic system for filing a Form 8955-SSA. This electronic filing system will be operational once the Form 8955-SSA has been finalized.

The IRS will accept any Schedules SSA that were submitted for the 2009 or 2010 plan years if the filings were received by April 20, 2011. After that date, however, a Schedule SSA will no longer satisfy the Section 6057(a) reporting requirement.