The Difference between Schedule A and Schedule C

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This time of year, employers who have calendar year Form 5500 obligations begin gathering information for their filing that may include Schedule As and/or Schedule Cs. Employers who sponsor ERISA plans that had 100 or more employees on the first day of the plan year are required to file a Form 5500. The Form 5500 is due by the last day of the seventh month following the last day of the plan year. For example, plans that end on December 31st are required to file the Form 5500 by no later than July 31st of the following year. The employer can file for a one time extension of up to two months and 15 days by submitting IRS Form 5558 on or before the original filing deadline. 

Form 5500 Completion

To complete a Form 5500 and any required schedules, an employer may be required to look at data from the plan document/summary plan description, the insurance contract or statistics related to plan. Depending upon the type of filing, questions asked on the 5500 may pertain to participation, premiums, expenses associated with the plan or commissions paid to a broker(s).

So what is the difference between the Schedule A and the Schedule C?

Schedule A includes premium amounts and agent commission details for insured plans and does not apply to self-funded plans such as a Health Care FSA or HRA. Schedule As are typically provided by insurance carriers for insured benefits.

Schedule C provides details on the fees associated with the plan and is typically only provided in the event the reportable fees exceed $5,000. Many self-funded plans will receive a Schedule C, based upon fees paid on behalf of the Plan to service providers, such as brokers or administrators. You may receive more than one Schedule C for a specific plan if you have reportable fees from more than one organization (such as a broker and an administrator). Some ERISA plans may not be required to file Schedule C because participant contributions are held in and claims paid from general assets.

Most Employee Benefits Corporation clients with either the BESTflex and EBC HRA clients will fall into this category; however, we will provide a Schedule C upon request.

Do I need to file a 5500 for the Health Care FSA and HRA?

Employers with Health Care FSAs and HRAs that are subject to ERISA (and have 100 or more participants at the start of the plan year) are required to file Form 5500. How you file this will be dependent on if your plans are included in a Wrap Document or not. If you have included these benefits within a Wrap Document, the participant count is based upon the total number of unique employees covered by ANY benefit within the Wrap Plan. If the unique participants is 100 or more, you would need to file on behalf of ALL OF THE PLANS within the Wrap. You would not file only for the components of the Wrap Plan that have 100 or more participants.

  • Health Care FSA or HRA Filings – If not included in a Wrap Plan filing, employers with a Health Care FSA and HRA would need to file a separate Form 5500 for each plan if they are a large ERISA plan with 100 or more participants in the plan as of the first date of the plan year.
    • Unless notified of a Wrap Plan filing, Employee Benefits Corporation creates the Form 5500 for our BESTflex Plan clients that have a Health Care FSA and are required to file at no cost and assists them with filing.
    • For our EBC HRA clients who are required to file a separate 5500, we notify them of the filing obligation and offer them the option to have us complete the Form 5500 for a fee.
  • Wrap Plan Filings – Employers have the option to combine all of their welfare benefit plans under one ERISA plan number and as a result, into one Form 5500. This is referred to as a Wrap Plan filing. Usually this decision is made when the employer sets up the plans and is a way to avoid the need to file multiple Forms 5500’s. Employers that want the convenience of combining benefits in this way are required to have a wrap plan document.

Employee Benefits Corporation’s Compliance Services Division can complete the Wrap Plan Form 5500 on an employer’s behalf upon request, and for a separate fee, if their Wrap Plan filing includes the BESTflex Plan Health Care FSA or EBC HRA. In this case, it is necessary to include information from the insured plans that are included as part of the Wrap plan. The employer will need to request all applicable Schedule As and Schedule Cs from their insurance carriers and/or administrators and forward them to us for processing.

If the employer includes the Health Care FSA or EBC HRA in their Wrap Plan filing, and would like to complete their own filing, we will provide Schedule C information upon request at no charge. The schedule C information may not be required to complete filing.

Many of our clients will use our Form 5500 preparation service either because they are a BESTflex, EBC HRA, or Compliance Services client. Those clients with participation of 100 or more participants on the 1st day of the plan year will be notified at least two months prior to the filing deadline if we need any additional data or to let them know that their 5500 is ready for review and signature. If a client would like additional 5500 services for a Wrap plan written elsewhere or any insured plans that require stand alone filing, please contact Employee Benefits Corporation’s Sales Department ( or (800) 346-2126) for a proposal.

Categories: Benefits in General, Compliance | Tags: Form 5500 , Schedule A , Schedule C , Wrap Plan | Return