Some Employers Must Be Ready for SAR Distribution

ERISA requires administrators of health plans to give information about the plan’s operation to participants. One of the ERISA requirements is the distribution of a plan’s Summary Annual Report (SAR). A SAR is a summary of a plan’s financial information that is filed with the U.S. Department of Labor on Form 5500. 

The SAR includes a description of

  • administrative expenses incurred by the plan;
  • amount of benefits paid to participants and beneficiaries;
  • total value of plan assets; and
  • right to receive a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof.

If a health plan is required to file Form 5500, it is required to distribute a Summary Annual Report to plan participants. If a plan is exempted from the Form 5500 filing requirements, it is exempted from the SAR distribution requirements as well.

A SAR must be furnished to participants within 9 months after the close of the plan year, or within 2 months after the extension deadline for filing Form 5500, if applicable. For calendar year plans that file Form 5500, a SAR must be distributed by the end of September. 

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