The documents required to set up a Cafeteria plan are cumbersome and complicated, even for attorneys. Be sure to use an attorney who is well versed in the area.
Most employers use plans written by attorneys that work directly for or on behalf of benefits consultants, actuaries or accountants, who in turn advise the employer. Legal counsel is crucial in the preparation of these documents.
ERISA requires certain reporting, disclosure, and recordkeeping requirements on welfare benefit and retirement plans offered to employees. Some flexible spending plans are not subject to the rules. However, those that are required to abide by the rules must:
- Furnish the DOL and participants with a Summary Plan Description (SPD);
- Summarize the annual reports for plan participants and designated beneficiaries;
- Provide benefits statements to plan participants and designated beneficiaries;
- File annual reports with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor (Form 5500 Series); and
- Keep various administrative records.
The plan document and summary plan description must be filed with the Department of Labor within 120 days from the plan’s effective date. For those required to file, the Form 5500 (or 5500-C or 5500-R or 5500EZ, as appropriate) must be filed with the IRS by the last day of the seventh month after the end of the plan year.
If a change is made to the plan, that change must be reported to the Department of Labor, in a revised SPD...