The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has provided relief to late annual report filers through Notice 2014-35, which allows the Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, to be filed late without late filing penalties.

Prior to the 2009 plan year, the information reported on Form 8955-SSA was filed with Form 5500 on the Schedule SSA, and therefore could be filed late through the Department of Labor’s Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (the “DFVCP”). The Schedule SSA was replaced by the Form 8955-SSA with the transition to a fully electronic filing system for annual reports, which is now a stand-alone form filed with the IRS, not the Department of Labor (the “DOL”). In a 2013 notice, however, the DOL stated that late filers cannot submit a Schedule SSA or Form 8955-SSA under the DFVCP. The IRS has now addressed this issue in Notice 2014-35 by providing a method to late file the Form 8955-SSA.

To obtain this relief from late filing penalties, a Form 8955SSA filer must:

  • Be eligible for and satisfy the requirements of the DFVCP for Forms 5500 or 5500-SF for the relevant year;
  • File a paper Form 8955-SSA with the IRS (electronic filings are currently not eligible);
  • Check the box on Form 8955-SSA, Part I, Line C (Special extension), and enter “DFVC” in the description on Line C; and
  • Mail the Form 8955-SSA for the delinquent returns to the IRS by the later of 30 calendar days after the DFVCP filing or December 1, 2014. For example, if a DFVCP filing for a delinquent 2008 Form 5500 was submitted in 2012 and information required to be filed under the SSA was never filed for 2008, a paper Form 8955-SSA must be filed with the Service for the 2008 plan year by no later than December 1, 2014 to qualify for the relief.