January 11, 2012

Extension Deadline for Form 8955-SSA 
The IRS has extended the deadline for 2009 and 2010 filings of Form 8955-SSA for employee benefit pension and savings plans subject to ERISA Section 203 vesting rules. The original August 2011 filing deadline has been extended to the later date of January 17, 2012 or the date that would apply for filing the 2010 plan year form (i.e., seven months following the close of the plan year). The new deadline also applies to individual statements sent annually to participants who have been terminated from employment but have deferred vested benefits.

Information for both plan years can be combined onto one form, although separate forms will also be accepted for each year. No extensions will be allowed beyond this new deadline.

Form 8955-SSA and Form 5500 
Form 8955-SSA is used to report deferred vested retirement benefits for separated participants. Prior to plan year 2009, this data was reported on Schedule SSA (Form 5500). Although Form 5500 and 8955-SSA are now entirely separate forms, rules that apply to filing Form 5500 will still generally apply to the new Form 8955-SSA.

For each deferred vested participant, the plan must report the individual’s name, vested benefit amount and social security number. Unlike Form 5500, however, Form 8955-SSA cannot be filed electronically with the Department of Labor’s EFAST2 system.

Filing Form 8955-SSA 
Individuals can complete Form 8955-SSA online and print it out for mailing to the IRS. (Paper copies can also be ordered by calling the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM.) Filings completed online must utilize third-party software and transmittals must be made through the IRS FIRE system. See IRS Rev. Proc. 2011-31, which contains information about filing through IRS FIRE.

See IRS announcement 2011-21 for more information about Form 8955-SSA.

The IRS imposes a penalty for failure to file Form 8955-SSA on time: $1 for each participant not reported for each day after the due date, up to maximum of $5,000. The plan administrator also faces a penalty of $50 for not sending participant statements when they are due.

Please contact Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman if we can help you complete and file 
Form 8955-SSA.


This article was originally posted on January 11, 2012 and the information may no longer be current. For questions, please contact GRF CPAs & Advisors at marketing@grfcpa.com.