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October 03, 2008
Hurricane Victims Get Filing Reprieve
Plan administrators, employers, and other entities located in designated disaster areas in Texas and Louisiana have until January 5, 2009, to file their Form 5500 and Form 5500-EZ annual report/returns.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced that victims of Hurricane Ike qualify for the extension, as do firms located outside the affected areas that are unable to obtain necessary information from service providers, banks, or insurance companies directly impacted by the hurricane.

Those qualifying for the extension should check Part I, Box D on the Form 5500 or Part I on Form 5500-EZ and attach a statement as outlined in the form instructions.

In addition, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced it would waive certain penalties and extend certain deadlines to January 5, 2009, for residents and businesses directly impacted by Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana and Hurricane Ike in Texas.

However, the PBGC cautions that the disaster relief announcements do not grant specific relief for all filings--for example, "certain filings that involve particularly important or time-sensitive information where there may be a high risk of substantial harm to participants or the PBGC insurance program, e.g., notices of large missed contributions under section 302(f) of ERISA (Form 200), advance notices of reportable events under ERISA section 4043, and annual financial and actuarial information from certain controlled groups under ERISA section 4010," the PBGC explains.

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