Preparation of the 8955-SSA: Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits

Beginning with returns for the 2009 plan year, the Schedule SSA (Form 5500) has been eliminated as a schedule of the Form 5500 annual return/report and is replaced with the Form 8955-SSA. Plan administrators must file this new form with the IRS and not through the EFAST2 filing system since it contains confidential information including participant social security numbers and other information that cannot be made available to the public. In addition to the Form 8955-SSA, the form now includes a question regarding participant statements with may indicate the interest of the IRS to enforce a long existing requirement for plan sponsors to provide statements to participants for whom it is required to report on the Form 8955-SSA.

The penalties associated with the 8955-SSA are:

  1. Failure to file an annual registration statement (including failure to include all required participants): The penalty is $1 for each participant not reported and for each day multiplied by the number of days the failure continues, up to a maximum of $5,000. The penalty is imposed on the person failing to file.
  2. Failure to file notification of a change in the status of the plan: Change in plan status include such items as a change in the plan name, a termination of the plan, or a change in the name or address of the plan administrator. The penalty is $1 for each day during which such failure occurs, up to a maximum of $1,000. Again the penalty is imposed on the person failing to file.
  3. Failure to furnish statement to plan participants or fraudulent statements. The statement is due to the participant no later than the date on which the plan is to file the Form 8955-SSA with the IRS (including extensions). A penalty of $50 is imposed on the person required to furnish the statement for each willful failure to furnish the statement to each affected participant or a willful furnishing of a false statement.
  4. Late filing penalty. This penalty applies to the failure to file the Form 8955-SSA on the date and in the manner prescribed. The penalty is $25 for each day during which the failure continues.

At this time, there is no delinquent filer program available for the 8955-SSA.