In the era of electronic enforcement, fidelity bond issues easily revealed on Form 5500

The July 31 due date (unless extended) to file Form 5500 for 2017 calendar year ERISA plans is creeping up on us. And if history be our guide, there will be many plan sponsors who don’t have a fidelity bond or one that is insufficient. It’s one of those check the boxes that can easily become a red flag for the Department of Labor (“DOL”) to take a closer look at the plan. It’s one of those line items that are highlighted in most 5500 databases that are in the public domain. In fact, some of the databases can indicate the number of years in which there has been no fidelity bond or one that is insufficient. The fidelity bond requirement is high up on the DOL’s compliance priorities, and it’s not a great leap in logic to assume that the they monitor this on Form 5500. After all, it’s the DOL who publishes the database. It could be a red flag for the DOL to take a closer look at the plan. One more caveat. A plan’s fiduciaries…

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