Blog Post

U.S DOL Offers Some Good News for Smaller Businesses with 401(K) Plans

Blank Rome Workplace

It’s not often that business owners get good news from the government, but small and even some medium-sized businesses with 401(k) plans got a helping hand from the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) earlier this year when the DOL eased the rules for identifying which 401(k) plans are required to have audited financial statements.


The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), everyone’s favorite federal law, has a dual reporting structure for 401(k) plans depending on the number of participants in the plan. Plans with 100 or more participants at the beginning of the year—so-called large plans—are required to prepare audited financial statements and file them with the plan’s Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan. Plans with fewer than 100 participants escape the audit requirement and, in most instances, can file a Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan.

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