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.