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EFAST2 Guide for Filers & Service Providers

Deliverable No. 45

December 29, 2009

FOR THE

ERISA Filing Acceptance System 2
(EFAST2)

PREPARED FOR:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
CONTRACT NO. DOLJ089326954

PREPARED BY:

VANGENT, INC.
4250 N. FAIRFAX DRIVE, SUITE 1200
ARLINGTON, VA 22203

EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers
Document Version ID 4.1/122909F

Change History Log

Version Primary Author(s) Section & Description of Change Date Completed
Ron Zook,
1.0 Initial Draft 6/19/09
Judith Wright
Pat Foubert, Changes in response to Govt.
2.0 7/21/09
Karen Hickey comments
Accepted Vangent’s tracked changes.
Replaced Appendix E with a full List of
3.0 Gibbs, McCauley 11/19/09
Attachment Types. Incorporated
comments from tri-agency review
4.0 Karen Hickey Revisions for Look and Feel updates 12/21/09
Revisions to sections 4.2.3 and 5.1.1
4.1 Karen Hickey 12/29/09
and 4.1

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EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers
Document Version ID 4.1/122909F

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1.  INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 1 
1.1  BACKGROUND ...................................................................................................................................................... 1 
1.2  OVERVIEW OF EFAST2 ........................................................................................................................................... 1 
1.3  ADVANTAGES OF EFAST2 ....................................................................................................................................... 2 
1.4  EFAST2 FUNCTIONALITY ......................................................................................................................................... 2 
1.5  THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE ......................................................................................................................................... 2 
1.5.1  Filing Preparation Software ................................................................................................................................. 2 
1.5.2  Filing Transmission Software ............................................................................................................................... 3 
1.5.3  Software Validation and Authorization ............................................................................................................... 3 
1.6  ENCRYPTION ........................................................................................................................................................ 3 
1.7  REFERENCES ......................................................................................................................................................... 3 

CHAPTER 2.  BECOMING AN EFAST2 SYSTEM USER ........................................................................... 4 
2.1  EFAST2 ROLES ..................................................................................................................................................... 4 
2.1.1  System Roles ........................................................................................................................................................ 4 
2.1.2  Determining User Roles ....................................................................................................................................... 4 
2.2  REGISTERING ........................................................................................................................................................ 5 
2.2.1  Read and Accept Privacy Statement .................................................................................................................... 6 
2.2.2  Complete Profile Information .............................................................................................................................. 7 
2.2.2.1  Enter Contact Information ............................................................................................................................... 8 
2.2.2.2  Select User Type/Role ...................................................................................................................................... 9 
2.2.2.3  Validation of Profile Information ................................................................................................................... 10 
2.2.3  Select Challenge Question and Answer ............................................................................................................. 11 
2.2.4  Verify Registration Information ......................................................................................................................... 12 
2.2.5  Registration Confirmation .................................................................................................................................. 13 
2.2.6  Receive Credentials Notification ........................................................................................................................ 14 
2.2.7  Retrieve and Activate Credentials ..................................................................................................................... 15 
2.3  CHANGES TO ACCOUNT INFORMATION ...................................................................................................................... 22 

CHAPTER 3.  ELECTRONIC FILING CREDENTIALS ............................................................................... 23 
3.1  CREDENTIAL TYPES ............................................................................................................................................... 23 
3.1.1  User ID ............................................................................................................................................................... 23 
3.1.2  ETIN .................................................................................................................................................................... 23 
3.1.3  Password ............................................................................................................................................................ 23 
3.1.4  PIN ...................................................................................................................................................................... 24 
3.1.4.1  PIN Exceptions ................................................................................................................................................ 24 
3.2  NON‐TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDENTIALS ................................................................................................................... 25 
3.3  PROTECTING YOUR CREDENTIALS ............................................................................................................................. 25 
3.4  LOST OR FORGOTTEN CREDENTIALS .......................................................................................................................... 25 
3.5  COMPROMISED CREDENTIALS ................................................................................................................................. 25 
3.6  EXPIRED CREDENTIALS .......................................................................................................................................... 25 
3.7  REVOCATION OF CREDENTIALS ................................................................................................................................ 26 

CHAPTER 4.  USING THE EFAST2 SYSTEM ......................................................................................... 27 
4.1  FILING OPTIONS .................................................................................................................................................. 27 
4.2  GENERAL FILING INFORMATION ............................................................................................................................... 28 
4.2.1  Submissions ....................................................................................................................................................... 28 
4.2.2  Unique Numbers Assigned by the Electronic Filing System............................................................................... 28 
AckID .............................................................................................................................................................................. 28 
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4.2.3  Filing Deadlines and Extension Requests ........................................................................................................... 28 
4.3  COMPOSITION OF THE FILING .................................................................................................................................. 28 
4.3.1  Forms and Schedules ......................................................................................................................................... 28 
4.3.2  Attachments ...................................................................................................................................................... 29 
4.4  FILING VALIDATION .............................................................................................................................................. 29 
4.5  SIGNING FILINGS ................................................................................................................................................. 29 
4.6  FILING SUBMISSION / TRANSMISSION ....................................................................................................................... 30 
4.7  STATUS VERIFICATION .......................................................................................................................................... 30 
4.8  AMENDED FILINGS ............................................................................................................................................... 30 

CHAPTER 5.  USER RESPONSIBILITIES ............................................................................................... 31 
5.1.1  Document Retention ......................................................................................................................................... 31 
5.1.2  Submitter Responsibilities ................................................................................................................................. 31 
5.1.3  EFAST2‐Approved Third‐party Software Vendor Responsibilities ..................................................................... 31 

CHAPTER 6.  SUPPORT AND TROUBLESHOOTING ............................................................................ 32 
6.1  ONLINE INSTRUCTIONS .......................................................................................................................................... 32 
6.2  SUPPORT SERVICES .............................................................................................................................................. 32 

APPENDIX A.  ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................... 34 

APPENDIX B.  PRIVACY AND SECURITY STATEMENT ....................................................................... 35 

APPENDIX C.  SIGNATURE AGREEMENT ......................................................................................... 37 

APPENDIX D.  PIN AGREEMENT ...................................................................................................... 38 

APPENDIX E.  TYPES OF OTHER ATTACHMENTS ............................................................................. 39 

APPENDIX F:   ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & STATUS CODES .................................................................. 42 

APPENDIX F:   ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & STATUS CODES .................................................................. 42 

 

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...................................  Privacy Agreement ......................................................... 18 Figure 18................. 20 Figure 21............................... 11 Figure 8..............................................................EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4................................................ 9 Figure 5.........................................................  Register – Finalize ...................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Figure 20............................................................................................................................  Register – Contact Information .... 16 Figure 16...............................  Register – Profile Information ....................  Register – User Types/Roles ...................................  Preparation and Transmission Options and Roles Needed ...  EFAST2 Welcome Screen .. 10 Figure 7...............  Register – PIN Agreement ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 Figure 12... 11 Figure 10.............................  Registration Confirmation Email ..............................................................................................................................................  Register – Signature Agreement .................................. 16 Figure 15..................................... 8 Figure 4.  Register – Challenge Information .........................................................................................................................................  Login........................................................................................................ 10 Figure 6................................................... 21 Figure 22................................................................................................................................................ 12 Figure 11.......................... 5 List of Figures Figure 1..1/122909F List of Tables Table 1....................................................................................................................... 6 Figure 2.....................  Sample Validation Error Messages – Invalid Data .................  Missing User Type/Role Error Message ....  Register – Confirmation/Account Activation .................................................................................................................................................................  Register – Summary .......................... 17 Figure 17....  Invalid Challenge Question Answer ..........................  Register – Set Password ........................  Register – Challenge Question Verification .............................................. Sample Validation Error Messages – Missing Required Fields .......................  Register – Registration Confirmation ..................................................................................................  Register – Confirmation/Account Activation .................................................................................................................... 7 Figure 3....................................................... 22 Page v ................................................................................. 19 Figure 19.....  Duplicate Email Address Error Message ........................... 14 Figure 13.. 15 Figure 14........ 11 Figure 9............

This guide is intended to provide information about EFAST2 required by filers. the Form 5500 series does not include the Schedule SSA. employee benefit plans could submit Form 5500 series filings on paper or electronically (modem-to-modem.irs. See Instructions for Form 5500-SF. To report this information. CHAPTER IINTRODUCTION NTRODUCTION 1. Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan and Instructions for Form 5500-SF.gov. This series was developed by the Department of Labor (DOL). and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). these plans must use the Form 5500 series. For more information on filing the Form 5500-EZ. operations.1/122909F CHAPTER 11. The Form 5500-EZ cannot be submitted electronically.efast. and other characteristics. The EFAST2 system provides all of the basic functionality required to fulfill annual reporting requirements from the website www. go to www. For information about filing the Form 8955-SSA with the IRS.gov. transmitters and other service providers. For detailed information on Form 5500 series filing requirements. To comply with these regulations and to update and streamline the ERISA filing process. CD-ROM and diskette) using the ERISA Filing Acceptance System (EFAST). funding. which can be found at www. web- based electronic filing system known as EFAST2. or call 1-877-829-5500.. which are the elements of the series that can be filed using the EFAST2 system. the DOL has created a new. 2009. mail.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.104a-2 requires electronic filing for all filers for plan years beginning on or after January 1. see Instructions for Form 5500. Page 1 . which may provide additional functionality and features. preparers. A one-participant plan that is not eligible to file Form 5500-SF must file Form 5500-EZ on paper with the IRS. 2010..gov. Do not find a prior year Schedule SSA.irs. see the instructions for Form 5500-EZ.efast. SSA information will now be collected by the IRS in Form 8955-SSA. Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan. 1. and deadlines. The Form 5500 series includes the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan and the Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual Return Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan. welfare benefit plans. Beginning with the 2009 plan year.dol. fill it out and attach that to your 2009 Form 5500 filing! Do not try to create your own Schedule SSA and attach that to your Form 5500 filing! See www. the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).2 Overview of EFAST2 In the past. go to www.gov for information on fulfilling this filing requirement.gov. These agencies work together to enforce the laws designed to protect the retirement and welfare benefits of the nation’s workers. No paper filings of any kind (e. including the following: • Creating filings • Signing filings • Submitting filings • Checking the status of filings • Viewing publicly disclosable filings EFAST2 architecture also allows for the integration of EFAST2-approved third-party software. Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan. instructions. Certain “one-participant plans” that would otherwise file the Form 5500-EZ are eligible to file Form 5500-SF and may elect to file Form 5500-SF electronically with EFAST2 rather than filing a Form 5500-EZ on paper with the IRS. except for timely filed 2008 plan year filings. The DOL’s regulation at 29 CFR 2520.1 Background The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and provisions of the Internal Revenue Code require certain employee benefit plans. Do not attach Form 8955-SS to your Form 5500 filing.g. and direct filing entities (DFEs) to submit information annually to the Government regarding their size. magnetic tape.dol.irs. fax) will be accepted beginning January 1.

and to assemble them into filings. EFAST2 has seven major components: a. (The EFAST2 will not be able to receive filings that contain certain types of errors or documents in the incorrect format. and the general public (See the Data Dissemination User’s Guide – Public for more information) f. EFAST2 can identify errors so users can correct them before transmitting filings for processing. Internet Registration – a site registry for EFAST2 users c.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. Electronic user credentials provide a secure method of electronically signing files and of accessing the information for which users are responsible. 1. those who use either EFAST2-approved third-party software or built-in EFAST2 functionality will be collectively referred to as EFAST2 system users. Those who choose to use Third Party software are still considered EFAST2 system users and may be required to register. d. 1.1 Filing Preparation Software Filing preparation software is used to prepare forms and schedules. The other components of EFAST2 work “behind the scenes” in the ERISA filing processing system. offer improved security over the paper filing method and previous electronic filing protocols. Both types may be included in a single software product. EFAST2-approved third-party software.) • Quicker availability of information to government agencies and the public: The improved processing and dissemination capabilities of EFAST2 ensure that ERISA filing information is made available to end users more quickly. other end users. Contact Center – a support center for EFAST2 users For the purposes of preparing and transmitting Form 5500 series filings. obtaining relevant credentials. defining system roles. 1. whether developed for internal use or for commercial purposes. and performing pre-validation of filings. • Fewer errors and rejected filings: With its internal edit system. 1. and using the EFAST2 system to fulfill ERISA annual reporting requirements.4 EFAST2 Functionality From a functionality standpoint. Approved preparation software integrates fully with the EFAST2 system and may provide additional features and functionality beyond those provided by IFILE. can be divided into two categories: filing preparation software and filing transmission software. These measures. Web site – a collection of web pages containing information and system interfaces b. IFILE and the Contact Center. protecting the integrity of electronic signatures. EFAST2 users will have direct contact only with the web site.1/122909F For the purposes of this guide. This guide describes the process of registering as a user.5 Third Party Software EFAST2-approved third-party software is expected to be the principal method for completing the ERISA filing process. Internet Filing (IFILE) – a free internet-based filing tool designed for individual filers and service providers who choose to not use value-added EFAST2-approved third party software to complete their Form 5500 filings. along with the security firewalls protecting the infrastructure and databases of EFAST2. site registry. checking attachments.3 Advantages of EFAST2 EFAST2 offers several advantages over paper filing and the previous EFAST system: • Greater security: EFAST2 uses a web-based filing protocol that employs Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.5. The DOL requires filing preparation software to reduce the incidence of non-accepted filings by implementing business rules. Internet Filing Acceptance System – an internal application that applies business rules to filing submissions (See the IFILE User’s Guide for more information) e. Page 2 . Participant Acceptance Testing System – an application that allows third-party developers to test and certify their products for use in EFAST2 g. Data Dissemination Service – an application that supplies filing information to government agencies.

resolve errors. There are distinct advantages to using SSL encryption: • Security: Limits access to secure information to the filer and authorized government personnel. all data sent to and from the web server is encrypted until the user terminates the session with the EFAST2 server.7 References The following references were used to create this document: • EFAST2 web site: www. submission status requests. it is authorized for use on EFAST2.gov. preparation software must allow users to enter form and schedule data.dol.6 Encryption To protect user data when using the public Internet and utilizing EFAST2. A current list of approved software companies and their software can be viewed at the EFAST2 web site: www. The specific instructions for using the software must be included in the instruction manual provided with the software by the developer. To pass this testing. create or import unstructured attachments. and sign the filing by entering the electronic credentials assigned by the DOL. 1.gov • Department of Labor (DOL) Website: www. 1027 • IFILE User’s Guide • Data Dissemination Service (DDS) User’s Guide – Public • Instructions for Form 5500. 29 USC 1023. Transmission software must allow the sending of individual or batches of filings in a prescribed format and using the required encryption method. developers must submit their software for testing every year.efast.3 Software Validation and Authorization All software used with EFAST2 must be validated and approved by the DOL in strict accordance with government protocols.1/122909F 1. or submitting filings or components of filings. users must have an active internet connection that supports SSL encryption.dol.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. For this to occur. 104. • Integrity: Maintains the integrity of the data sent to the DOL. 1. encryption ensures that no unauthorized user will be able to see filing data or interject malicious data into the session.2 Filing Transmission Software Filing transmission software is used to transmit completed filings.gov • 29 CFR Part 2520 • 29 CFR 2520. • Comfort: Should provide a level of comfort to filers who may otherwise be concerned that the data could be compromised or altered if sent on paper or if a less robust encryption method was used.5. 1044. Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan • Third Party Software Test Plan and Certification Procedures Page 3 . all data between the user’s computer and the EFAST2 web server are encrypted. and 107 of ERISA. While a user is retrieving. At this point. The DOL requires filing transmission software to protect the integrity and security of the filing data. editing. a secure encrypted channel is established between the user’s browser and the EFAST2 web server.107-1 • Sections 103. Third-party software testing is stringent due to the requirements for pre-validation of data and the security constraints of electronic filing. (To use EFAST2. 1.) When a registered user logs in to the EFAST2 web site and the system authenticates the user’s electronic filing credentials. This encryption is achieved through the use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) on the EFAST2 web server. and filing status requests to EFAST2 via web services protocol. Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan • Instructions for Form 5500-SF.dol.5. Once software is validated. Approval of third-party software does NOT mean that the DOL endorses the computer software or quality of services provided.efast.

Schedule authors cannot initiate. you do not need to check this box. • Schedule Author: Schedule authors can complete one or more of the schedules that accompany Form 5500/5500-SF.gov Note that credentials obtained through EFAST will not be valid for EFAST2. Signers include Plan Administrators. Instructions.1. A third-party software developer can be a company. You must apply for new credentials to use EFAST2. The signer’s signature indicates that to the best of the signer’s knowledge and belief. Filing authors cannot sign filings unless they also have the “Filing Signer” role. If you are using EFAST2-approved third party software to author your filing rather than IFILE. you do not need to check this box. submit the filing. They submit test cases using their software to the Participant Acceptance Testing System (PATS) Team. Role updates may occur at any time after initial registration by updating the user profile. 2. If you are using EFAST2-approved third party software to author your filing rather than IFILE. and transmitter -. CHAPTER BE B COMING A ECOMING NE AN FAST2 S EFAST2 YSTEM U SYSTEM SER USER The EFAST2 web site provides basic public disclosure and access to user guides and other reference information without the requirement of account creation. • Third-Party Software Developer: Third-party software developers make Form 5500 filing preparation or transmission software for use in the EFAST2 system.2 Determining User Roles Different role options are possible because of the different filing methods users have available to them.efast. By registering. correct. Employers/Plan Sponsors. or individual. he or she may indicate multiple user types/roles during the registration process. Registration is required for all other functions. the user will be issued the credentials necessary to perform specific tasks.1 EFAST2 Roles Before registering as an EFAST2 user. Registration is performed on the EFAST2 website http://www. No other filing-related work may be done by this user role alone. filing signer.1/122909F CHAPTER 22. or submit a filing. including the ability to sign or submit annual filings. Page 4 .1. and check filing status.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. and complete. trade. see the “Third Party Software Test Plan and Certification Procedures” on the EFAST2 web site under Forms. • Transmitter: Transmitters can transmit Form 5500/5500-SF filings to the EFAST2 system for processing on behalf of others. The PATS Certification Team will then review their submissions and provide feedback or approve and certify the software. This exported file will then be imported by the Filing Author to the correct filing. or individual.dol. If the registrant will be performing filing tasks associated with more than one user type/role. the filing is true. 2. Roles in EFAST2 are dependent on the use of built-in functionality and signature authority in the system. 2. the schedule must be exported.1 System Roles Each defined system role has specific filing tasks associated with it. • Filing Signer: Filing signers can sign Form 5500/5500-SF filings. business. Signers must ensure that the filing information is correct prior to its submission. If you are a third-party vendor and wish to obtain information about the registration process. A transmitter can be a company. • Filing Author: Filing authors can complete Form 5500/5500-SF and the accompanying schedules.so that all appropriate credentials may be granted upon completion of the application. The intended use of EFAST2 functionality and signing authority will determine the system roles users will need to select during registration. Transmitters are responsible for the security of all filing information prior to and during its transmission. sign. it is recommended that the user determine the expected system role – such as filing author. Schedules created by a Schedule Author are not associated with a filing. For a schedule created by a Schedule Author to be used in a filing.. and Publications. and Direct Filing Entities. trade. business.

EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. users must complete the registration process in a single session. Incomplete registration forms will not be saved in the EFAST2 database. Page 5 . Provide contact information and select user type(s) 3. If users end the session prior to completing the registration form. On the navigation panel on the left side of the Welcome screen. users must go to the EFAST2 web site.2 Registering For the sake of accuracy. they will need to start the process over from the beginning. Preparation and Transmission Options and Roles Needed A plan administrator using EFAST2-approved third-party software to prepare and transmit directly to the DOL its own Form 5500/5500-SF and schedules will not need Filing Author or Schedule Author credentials because the preparation will be done separate from the web-based system. Someone who will only be preparing schedules using IFILE and not 5500 / 5500SF Forms will need Schedule Author credentials. the user should click on the “Register” link (Figure 1). Users must follow six steps to complete EFAST2 registration: 1. Read and accept the privacy statement 2. Verify registration information 5. All company official(s) responsible for signing the filing will need to obtain Filing Signer credentials. Preparers who use EFAST2-approved third-party software to transmit filings on behalf of other organizations will need to register as a transmitter.dol. and timeliness. located at http://www. Receive a credentials email notification 6.1/122909F The following table illustrates the possibilities: Table 1.efast. Retrieve and activate credentials To register with EFAST2. A plan administrator using EFAST2-approved third-party software to prepare filings and then imports them to IFILE for transmission will need Filing Author credentials to be able to edit the filing once it is imported into IFILE. Select challenge question and answer 4. security.gov. 2.

EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.1/122909F Figure 1. The complete text of the privacy statement can be found in Appendix B.1 Read and Accept Privacy Statement The first step of EFAST2 registration is to read and accept the privacy statement (Figure 2). EFAST2 Welcome Screen 2.2. Page 6 .

registrants must provide contact and user type information on the Profile Information screen (Figure 3). b) If the user clicks the “No” button.2 Complete Profile Information After reading and accepting the privacy statement. all registration will cease. Accept Agreement 1) The user will be taken to the Profile Information page to provide contact information and select a user type. s/he will be returned to the Privacy Agreement page.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.1/122909F Figure 2. Privacy Agreement After reading the privacy statement. Click one of the buttons at the bottom of the screen: a. and the user will be returned to the Welcome screen. Page 7 .2. a warning message will appear asking “Do you really wish to decline this agreement and stop your registration?” a) If the user confirms and clicks the “Yes” button. 2. or b. Check the box labeled “I have read this agreement” and 2. the user must 1. The user must now click the “Accept Agreement” button to continue. Decline Agreement 1) If the user clicks the Decline Agreement button.

users are asked to provide the following contact information.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. EFAST2 will not be able to create and send the necessary electronic filing credentials to the user.Fax . Without this information. Note that an asterisk (*) next to the field label on the screen indicates a required field. In the upper portion of the Profile Information screen (Figure 4).City/Town . • Required: • Optional: .Last Name .2.2.Address .Country Page 8 .1/122909F Figure 3.1 Enter Contact Information All registrants must provide their contact information.Address 2 . Register – Profile Information 2.First Name .

S. More than one user type/role can be selected. Reference Chapter 3 for more information on electronic filing credentials.1/122909F . Page 9 . addresses)/Postal Code (for non- U. Transmitter. Filing Signer.S. they must click the Next button to continue.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.Zip Code (for U.S.Email Address .2.Company Name Figure 4. Schedule Author. Once a user has selected their user type/role.Daytime Phone . addresses) . or Third-Party Software Developer. registrants must indicate on the bottom portion of the Profile Information screen (Figure 4) their desired user type/role: Filing Author. Register – Profile Information 2.State (for U. addresses)/Province (for non-U.2 Select User Type/Role After entering the contact information.2.S. addresses) .

If a person is developing software for internal use by a company. The following shows the types of error messages you may receive: Figure 6.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.g. • Failure to select a user type/role These errors will not let you past the Profile Information screen. A registration form will be rejected if: • Email address entered is already on file • Required identification fields are incomplete • Invalid field values have been entered (e. Register – User Types/Roles If the user type/role “Third Party Software Developer” is selected.3 Validation of Profile Information The system will next validate the entries made on the screen.1/122909F Figure 5. The user must correct the information on the screen before continuing.. that person should select “Third Party Software Developer” as well as any other applicable credentials for that person.2. phone number must be a numeric value). Duplicate Email Address Error Message Page 10 . 2.2. The yellow question mark in the circle may be selected to access the Help feature in the tool. EFAST2 enables the components of the web site that are specifically intended for third-party developers.

3 Select Challenge Question and Answer In the next step of the registration process.2. Missing User Type/Role Error Message The system does not attempt to verify the user’s registration information to ensure that the identity is real or that the user is authorized to prepare. sign. such as “hospital. the user proceeds to the Challenge Information screen (Figure 10). Sample Validation Error Messages – Missing Required Fields Figure 8. the registrant must select one of two challenge (or security) questions and provide an answer. The challenge question provides a level of security that helps prevent unauthorized third parties from accessing the user’s account. At this screen. Answers to challenge questions are case sensitive.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. or transmit filings. Sample Validation Error Messages – Invalid Data Figure 9. You should use an answer that cannot easily be guessed. 2.” Page 11 .1/122909F Figure 7.

users will go to the Summary screen (Figure 11). Without the email notification (and the secure link it contains). This screen lists the registration information they have entered. especially the email address. Page 12 . EFAST2 uses the email address to notify users their credentials are ready to be retrieved and activated.2.1/122909F Figure 10. Users should verify that all this information is correct.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.4 Verify Registration Information After selecting the challenge question and answer. which is crucial to the next step of registration. users will not be able to retrieve their credentials. Register – Challenge Information 2.

1/122909F If there are mistakes on the Summary screen. The user is now done until they receive their Credentials Notification email with further instructions. Figure 11. Click the OK button to continue.5 Registration Confirmation Upon completion of the first part of registration. users must use the Edit button to correct them. Register – Summary 2. Page 13 .2. the user will receive the Registration Confirmation screen.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.

2. Figure 13 below shows an example of the EFAST2 credentials email notification. EFAST2 sends a notification to the email address the user indicated in the registration form. users will find a link to a secure web site as well as instructions on how to retrieve and activate the credentials at that site. EFAST2 will generate the user’s credentials. they are returned to the Welcome page (Figure 1). If the user wishes to use the same email address to reactivate their account. In addition. 2. Once the credentials are generated. the PIN information is always accessible via the user’s profile page.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.6 Receive Credentials Notification Within five minutes of submission and acceptance of the registration form. Page 14 .1/122909F Figure 12. Note that users must access this information within three months of registering or their account will be deactivated. . Register – Registration Confirmation When the user clicks the OK button. In this email notification. the user will need to contact the EFAST2 Contact Center at 1-866-463-3278 (1-866-GO EFAST) to revoke the expired account and free up the email address.

7 Retrieve and Activate Credentials Users should follow the instructions found in the email notification to retrieve their credentials (see Figure 13).EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.2.1/122909F Figure 13. Page 15 . Registration Confirmation Email 2. The user will be asked to return to the EFAST2 web site to acknowledge receipt of the credentials and set his or her password.

Register – Challenge Question Verification If the Challenge Question is answered incorrectly three times.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. Figure 15. the account is automatically revoked and you must re-register through the tool. Figure 14. The user must first answer the Challenge Question selected when registering. Invalid Challenge Question Answer Page 16 .1/122909F 1. See Figure 14.

section 2. it follows the same process as the Privacy Agreement (Figure 2).2. continue to the next screen. If the user selected the Filing Signer type/role. Register – PIN Agreement 3. Finalize (Figure 18).EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. As with the PIN Agreement (Figure 16). the next screen will be the Signature Agreement (Figure 17). Figure 16. If the Filing Signer type/role was not selected. The complete text of the Signature Agreement can be found in Appendix C.1/122909F 2. Page 17 .2. The complete text of the PIN Agreement can be found in Appendix D. This works the same as the Privacy Agreement (Figure 2). The user must next agree to the PIN Agreement (Figure 16).1.1. section 2.

the user will see the Finalize screen.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. The user should note the User ID and PIN for future reference. Next. Click the Next button to continue. Page 18 . The Cancel button will return the user to the Welcome screen (Figure 1) and cancel the registration activation. Register – Signature Agreement 4.1/122909F Figure 17. The Back button will return the user to the PIN Agreement screen (Figure 16).

EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. Register – Finalize 5. The password must be entered twice. once to set it and once to confirm it. Now that the user has been authenticated. the user must set his or her password. as long as it meets the password requirements. The user may enter any password of their own choosing.1/122909F Figure 18. Page 19 .

Register – Set Password 6.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. Register – Confirmation/Account Activation Page 20 . their registration activation is complete and the user is now ready to log in and begin using the account. Click the Login button to return to the Welcome page. Once the user has set the password. Figure 20.1/122909F Figure 19.

Register – Confirmation/Account Activation Page 21 .EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. click the Login link on the navigation panel on the left. From the Welcome page. Figure 21.1/122909F 7.

a notification of that change will be sent to the email address currently in the system for that user. you will no longer have access to filings created or signed using your original User ID.1/122909F Figure 22. Users can change their password and PIN by accessing their account through the EFAST2 web site. Login 2. If users wish to change obtain a new user ID they must do so by revoking the existing user ID and repeating the registration process. When any change is made to a user’s account. If users wish to use the same email address. a record of that change will be maintained in the EFAST2 database. PIN. you should revoke your existing user ID via the EFAST2 Contact Center and re-register to obtain a new user ID.3 Changes to Account Information Users can change any of their account information through the EFAST2 web site. password. a change notification will be sent to both the old and new email addresses associated with the account. If the user changes his or her email address in the EFAST2 database. they will need to contact the EFAST2 Contact Center at 1-866-463-3278 (1-866- GOEFAST) to revoke their current account and free up their email address. or email address in EFAST2.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. If users change their name. If your User ID was used for filings belonging to a single organization. challenge questions and answers. Warning: If you change your User ID. Page 22 . and you no longer are responsible for filings for that organization.

1 User ID The User ID is composed of an alphabetic character (A through W) followed by seven numeric characters. are required to have both a User ID and a PIN. When used in combination with the password. System Roles and User Credentials 3.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. The password must: • Be 10 to 16 characters long • Contain at least one letter (alphabetic character) Page 23 . is required for preparers to submit filings or batches of filings on behalf of others using EFAST2-approved third-party software. Filing Authors and Filing Signers normally do not need to know the transmitter’s ETIN. All filing signers. The User ID is used in conjunction with the PIN to sign filings. Example: A1002187 User IDs are provided for all EFAST2 users who use IFILE to prepare or submit filings. Example: Y1002188 An ETIN.1/122909F CHAPTER 33.2 ETIN The ETIN is a unique identifier composed of the letter Y followed by seven numeric characters. along with a PIN. a password permits users to login to IFILE or the Data Dissemination Service to access their EFAST2 accounts and any filing information for which they are responsible (for example.3 Password When used in combination with the User ID. 3. CHAPTER ELLECTRONIC E ECTRONIC FFILING ILING CREDENTIALS CREDENTIALS 3. whether using third party software or IFILE. when the transmitter submits filings and receives acknowledgements).1.1 Credential Types EFAST2 electronic filing credentials include the following: • User ID • ETIN (electronic transmitter identification number) • Password • PIN (personal identification number) The following table correlates credential types to the requested system roles: User ID ETIN Password PIN Filing Author X X Filing Signer X X X Schedule Author X X Transmitter X X X X Table 2.1.. 3. the User ID permits users to access their EFAST2 account and any filing information for which they are responsible. to submit one’s organization’s filing. and to retrieve status on submitted filings.1.

1 PIN Exceptions A PIN cannot be any of the values listed below: 1111 2222 3333 4444 5555 6666 7777 8888 9999 0000 0123 1234 2345 3456 4567 5678 6789 7890 0987 9876 8765 7654 6543 5432 4321 3210 Page 24 .. In every case it is used to authenticate a user for the action being performed.1. transmitting one or more filings via EFAST2-approved third-party software.3.4.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. 3.1/122909F • Contain at least one number (numeric character) • It may contain special characters (e. or retrieving filing status information. Example: 2354 Filing authors and signers with a User ID may change their PIN as described in section 2. A PIN is used when signing a filing. !&%) • It may not contain spaces Examples: JKL2&HRT77BB% 1LeapingLizard! 3. Transmitters must apply for a new credential to change the PIN that corresponds to an ETIN.1.4 PIN The PIN is a unique identifier composed of four (4) numeric characters.g.

Callers must give the reason for the deactivation request and provide their User ID or PIN.efast. Page 25 . 3. EFAST2 takes measures to protect user credentials: • The PIN is only displayed on the User Profile screen once logged in and the page is accessed • The password is masked with asterisks when used to log into the system—it is not available anywhere else. User IDs and passwords can be recovered through the EFAST2 web site (www. If the user responsibilities are changed in mid-cycle. • Do not file with compromised credentials.4 Lost or Forgotten Credentials Lost PINs. Except in the case of transmitters. To recover a User ID.3 Protecting Your Credentials The safety and integrity of your filings depend on the security of your electronic credentials. that is. or compromised in any way. and the new user must register for credentials and import the filings and schedules under the new credentials. or stolen. the filings and/or schedules must be exported. 3. users must complete the registration process again.) If the credentials expire.1/122909F 3. Also. they will need to contact the EFAST2 Contact Center at 1-866-463-3278 (1-866-GO EFAST) to revoke the user’s expired account and free up the email address. but responsibility for those filings has moved to another EFAST2 user. they cannot be shared by multiple users. Users must also take responsibility for keeping their credentials secure.5 Compromised Credentials The user’s PIN and User ID are considered “compromised” if anyone but the user or someone authorized to file on the user’s behalf obtains access to them. Otherwise the new EFAST2 user will need to start with blank filings or schedules. you will no longer have access to filings created or signed using your original User ID. • Do not leave any papers containing your credentials where anyone may see them. the user credentials may not be shared. the user will need to repeat the registration process in its entirety.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.gov).2 Non-transferability of Credentials EFAST2 user credentials belong to the individual who obtains them. If a PIN or User ID is lost.6 Expired Credentials Credentials from the EFAST2 system that have not been used for three (3) consecutive calendar years will expire. Note: If the user wishes to use the same email address. • Do not save your credentials in an unsecured computer file. Expired credentials remain in the EFAST2 database but are flagged as expired. click the “Forgot Password” link on the Login page (Figure 22) To recover a PIN. 3.dol. if different company officers will sign the filing. users may request the immediate deactivation of the PIN or User ID by calling the EFAST2 Contact Center at 1-866-463-3278 (1-866-GO EFAST). if an EFAST2 user has submitted or signed filings. To receive a new PIN or User ID. Therefore. Warning: if you deactivate your User ID. view your User Profile once logged in (Figure 18) 3. each officer must register and obtain his or her own credentials. if the new user has not already registered for credentials in a different capacity. credentials are not transferrable. click the “Forgot User ID” link on the Login page (Figure 22) To recover a Password. (Credentials will never expire if they are used at least once every three years. Following the guidelines listed below will help ensure that credentials are not compromised: • Do not share your credentials with anyone.

procedures.1/122909F Note: If the user wishes to use the same email address. 3. The DOL reserves the right to revoke the electronic filing credentials of any user who does not maintain an acceptable level of quality in his or her filings or who deviates from the requirements. • Other actions that would adversely affect the EFAST2 program. and specifications set forth in this publication and in other EFAST2 publications. Page 26 . The following conditions can lead to suspension of electronic filing credentials: • Misrepresentation on the user’s registration form. • Violation of advertising standards. • Deterioration in the format of filing submissions. • Unethical practices in filing preparation.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. they will need to contact the EFAST2 Contact Center at 1-866-463-3278 (1-866-GO EFAST) to revoke their expired account and free up their email address. • Unacceptable cumulative error rate. listed in Chapter 5 of this document.7 Revocation of Credentials Users must maintain a high degree of integrity and accuracy to take part in the EFAST2 program.

if you are filing a delinquent 2007 Form 5500 return/report for a defined benefit pension plan. SB.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. tagging them as “other attachments.html and print the schedules and instructions of the form year that corresponds to the plan year for which you are filing. must indicate. you must submit the filing using current filing year Form 5500. Attach them as PDF images to the current filing year Form 5500 (2009 or 2010 forms can be used as current filing year forms as of 1/1/2010). The entire filing should then be filed electronically in accordance with EFAST2 electronic filing requirements. The current filing year forms take the place of the Form 5500 pages that would have been included in the prior year's filings. or MB (Actuarial Information). • Schedule E (ESOP Annual Information). all other required schedules and attachments should be completed using current filing year forms and instructions. • Prepare filings using EFAST2-approved third-party software and then import and submit the filings through IFILE if the third-party software supports exporting. • Prepare and submit their filings through IFILE. • Schedule R (Retirement Plan Information) and • Schedule T (Qualified Pension Plan Coverage Information). Rather. users can: • Prepare and transmit their filings using EFAST2-approved third-party software. Page 27 . IMPORTANT: Do not attach any Schedule SSA to any filing with EFAST2. schedules. in the appropriate space at the beginning of the Form 5500. Exceptions to requirement to use current filing year schedules and instructions: Filers using EFAST2 must use the following correct-year schedules (that is. submit the most current year Form 8955-SSA to the IRS (along with all required attachments).1. go to http://www. • Schedule P (Annual Return of Fiduciary of Employee Benefit Trust). CHAPTER US U ING TTHE SING HE EFAST2 S EFAST2 YSTEM SYSTEM 4. Since the Schedule E would not apply to a defined benefit plan and the Schedule P and Schedule T did not apply for 2007 plan year filings. The electronic filing on the current filing year Form 5500. For example.1. the plan year for which the annual return/report is being filed.1 Filing Options There are two filing methods in EFAST2: • EFAST2-approved third-party software • IFILE (DOL’s free internet-based filing tool) Users have available to them several options for combining these methods of preparing and transmitting filings. however. and instructions except as provided below. To obtain correct-year schedules and related instructions. the plan year for which the annual return/report relates) completed in accordance with the related correct-year instructions: • Schedule B.1/122909F CHAPTER 44.. you must include the 2007 Schedule B.gov/ebsa/5500main. For example.dol. Schedule R and all required attachments for these schedules. • Prepare filings using IFILE and then import and submit the filings through EFAST2-approved third party software if the third-party software supports importing.” Also. you have the option of using either the current filing year or the correct-year (2007 in this example) Schedule C. 4. Delinquent or Amended Filings To submit a delinquent or amended Form 5500 return/report electronically through EFAST2 for plan years prior to 2009.

they can request an extension on or before the filing due date. a filer may choose to attach an explanation for filing late in the “Reasonable Cause” attachment.1 Forms and Schedules With the exception of Schedule A. A maximum of 9. There is no limit to the number of instances of each block within the form or schedule other than the filing size limit. The maximum allowable size of a batch filing submission is 100 filings up to a total of 100 megabytes (MB).1 Submissions A submission may consist of a single filing or batches of multiple filings. and attachments. Note that each transmission cannot exceed the 100 MB limit. That is. • Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF • Schedules • Attachments 4.999 Schedules A may be included in a single filing. or any other extension request form to their Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF filing or an explanation of a special extension.2 Unique Numbers Assigned by the Electronic Filing System AckID The Acknowledgement ID (AckID) is a system-generated identifier that uniquely identifies a received submission that has completed EFAST2 processing. enter a description of the special extension. Filers now merely check the box on the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF.gov). all forms and schedules can have only one occurrence within the filing. schedules. and if applicable. Detailed information on requesting filing extensions can be found in the publications Instructions for Form 5500 and Instructions for Form 5500-SF and at the EFAST2 web site (www. 4. With EFAST2. Plans still must file Form 5558 (or other applicable extension request form) with the IRS and keep with their records a copy of the form. Some forms and schedules have repeating blocks of information. and these batches must be transmitted in their entirety sequentially. 4.3 Composition of the Filing ERISA filings consist of multiple filing components that are comprised of individual forms. Page 28 .3 Filing Deadlines and Extension Requests The deadline for plans to file a Form 5500 is the last day of the seventh month after the close of the plan year. call the EFAST2 Contact Center at 1-866-463-3278 (1-866-GO EFAST) for assistance with the filing.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.2. filers are no longer required to attach a copy of IRS Form 5558. 4. If Government review finds that the filer had a reasonable explanation for filing late.2. Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns.efast.2 General Filing Information 4. 4.dol.3.1/122909F IMPORTANT: Do not send any penalty payments associated with a delinquent filing to EFAST2. If a file is larger than 100 MB. If a filing is late. Penalty payments to the IRS or made under the Department's Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) Program must be submitted separately in accordance with the applicable requirement. The original AckID is required when amending a filing if the original filing was submitted through EFAST2. Note that the size of the filing may also limit the number of Schedule As a filing may contain (maximum size of a filing is 100MB). Transmissions must consist of only complete batches. late filing penalties may be waived. the first batch must be completely transmitted before the next batch begins.2. If users need more time to file.

Do not find a prior year Schedule SSA. it should not contain sensitive information such as social security numbers. 4. Other than the limit on the IQPA Report. Preparers are encouraged to validate each filing before signing. Together. the Form 5500 series does not include the Schedule SSA. By validating each filing and making necessary corrections before signing and submission. There are two principal advantages to using a PIN and a User ID to sign filings: • Greater security: Only the user and authorized government personnel have access to the PIN and User ID. there are no restrictions besides the filing size limit or the number of times each attachment type can be used within a filing Form 5500 Filings may contain any form. will be posted on the Internet. All other forms and schedules are invalid for Form 5500-SF. Other attachments may be either a PDF file or an ASCII Text file. omissions. For more information on submitting to the IRS Form 8955-SSA.” For a complete list of possible attachments that can be included in EFAST2 filings. • Less paperwork: The transmitter’s responsibility to send paper forms.5 Signing Filings All Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF filings must be signed electronically in EFAST2. plan and signer for DFE. Form 5500-SF filings may contain only Form 5500-SF. the Accountant’s Opinion (attached as a signed PDF) and signed Schedule MB/SB (completed electronically and attached as a PDF to show the actuary’s signature) (also attached as a signed PDF). Schedule MB or SB. No other file formats are accepted. or attachment type other than the Form 5500-SF. 4. the preparer can avoid amendment. including Form 5500 or 5500-SF (plan administrator. the Filing Signer certifies that the required signatures are on all the applicable filing components. and potential for correspondence. as appropriate). 4. Other attachments have an attachment type associated with them. and penalties. the PIN and the User ID act as the user’s signature on the electronic filing.1/122909F Only one report of the Independent Qualified Public Accountant (IQPA Report) can be attached. thus making the filing completely electronic. please go to www. Because your filing. schedules. fill it out and attach that to your 2009 Form 5500 filing! Do not try to create your own Schedule SSA and attach that to your Form 5500 filing! If you include a social security number on your annual return/report (such as appears on the old Schedule SSA). including any attachments.3. Beginning with the 2009 plan year. and/or Direct Filing Entities (DFE). Page 29 . or other barriers with their submission. which is the form that replaces the Schedule SSA (do not attempt to attach IRS Form 8955-SSA to your Form 5500/5500-SF filing through EFAST2). Whether the filer uses third-party software or IFILE. and attachments. Employer/Plan Sponsor. and attachments to the DOL is eliminated. The report of the Independent Qualified Public Accountant (IQPA) and image of the signed Schedule MB or SB must be attached as a PDF file.4 Filing Validation EFAST2 preparers may obtain immediate feedback on the validity of their filing. messages will alert the preparer to inconsistent data.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. Acceptable formats vary by attachment type: • Accountant’s Opinion and Signed MB or SB.irs. By using the PIN and User ID as an electronic signature. your filing may be rejected. employer/plan sponsor. such as “Statement of Actuarial Assumptions/Methods.gov. • Other Attachments. schedule.2 Attachments Any information that cannot be contained on the 5500 series forms and schedules may be submitted as an unstructured attachment on EFAST2. see Appendix E. Each signer is assigned two identifiers by EFAST2: a PIN and a User ID. rejection. There may be as few as one or as many as three signatures for one filing: Plan Administrator. Form 5500-SF filings must have a signature from either the Plan Administrator and/or the Employer/Plan Sponsor.

the filing will not be accepted. Filings may be received. depending on the severity of any observed errors (see Appendix F). whereas preparers transmitting on behalf of others would use their ETIN. Filings may be submitted individually or in a batch. the filing is not on record with EFAST2. they may be transmitted to the EFAST2 system for acceptance processing. and date to the annual return/report file and the name and date to the Form 5500/5500-SF. the submitter should receive an acknowledgement indicating that the submission has been received as processable or has been rejected with errors. Submission through EFAST2-approved third-party software requires either a UserID/PIN or ETIN/PIN combination for verification. the signatures are authenticated by comparing the submitted credentials to the registration credentials in EFAST2. Filings that contain errors are subject to rejection and penalties. If an error message is received at this stage. Any filings that are received with errors and/or warnings may be amended through the amendment process described below.6 Filing Submission / Transmission After filings have been verified and signed. Page 30 . filing preparation software (either IFILE or EFAST2-approved third party software) shall apply the signer’s electronic filing credentials (User ID and PIN). Filings that are not successfully received by EFAST2 must be resubmitted. the last amended filing received and on-file is considered the latest filing for a plan. name. A receipt acknowledgement does not indicate that submitted filings have been accepted.8 Amended Filings Users must submit an amended filing to correct errors or omissions that exist in a previously submitted filing for the same year in accordance with the instructions for the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF. invalid transmission credentials. Within minutes. It is the responsibility of the submitter to convey accurately the filing status to plan sponsors and administrators if the submitter does not also have those roles. A list of errors and/or warnings will be provided in cases in which they are present. with errors and/or warnings. Signatures signify verification and certification. Filings that have not been submitted may have signatures removed to allow editing. If a required signature is missing. 4. Submitted and accepted filings require the submission of an amendment to make modifications. however. 4. whichever is applicable.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. 4. Within approximately 20 minutes after transmission. or not received by the system at all. Those preparing their own filing would use their UserID. the status of each batch and filing will be accessible to the submitter.7 Status Verification All filings undergo computerized processing after successful submission into the EFAST2 system. Your approved software (third-party or IFILE) will ensure that the XML format of filings and batches matches what is expected by the EFAST2 system. No changes to signed filings are allowed. or other unprocessable situations that must be resolved before another submission attempt. Receipt acknowledgements include an AckID and indicate that submitted filings have been successfully transmitted and will be subjected to further processing and review.1/122909F Upon signing the filing. Submitters are encouraged to verify the status through their submission software as the EFAST2 system validates each filing. Upon submission to the Government. Filing can be amended more than once. Error messages may indicate various identification problems.

so long as they meet the applicable requirements.2 Submitter Responsibilities Communications on filing errors and statuses are directed to the submitter.3 EFAST2-Approved Third-party Software Vendor Responsibilities As the Government does not endorse any specific software product. For more information.1 Document Retention Retention periods are specified in the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. 5. any advertising that goes beyond the accurate reflection of approved status is a misrepresentation. The Plan Administrators and Direct Filing Entities must retain a copy of the filing signed by the Filing Signer(s) and any acknowledgements received from the DOL. the submitter is responsible for ensuring that accurate communication is directed to those responsible for filing the Form 5500/Form 5500-SF annual return/report. In the case that the submitter is not also the plan sponsor or administrator.1.1. Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns. where applicable.1/122909F CHAPTER 55. along with all other documents required by the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. The signer must also retain a copy of the Schedule MB or SB signed by the actuary and. and implementing regulations.. Page 31 . 5.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. see the instructions to the Form 5500. Filers may use electronic media for record maintenance and retention.1. a copy of the IRS Form 5558. CHAPTER US U ER R SER ESPONSIBILITIES RESPONSIBILITIES 5.

These include: • EFAST2 Tutorial • Data Dissemination Service (DDS) User’s Guides • IFILE User’s Guide • Third Party Software Test Plan and Certification Procedures • These resources will be available on the EFAST2 web site under Forms. how to complete the form. New Year’s Day 2.1/122909F CHAPTER 66. Hours of operation for live customer service are from 8:00 a. The following is a schedule of the Federal Holiday Schedule: 1. Veterans’ Day 9. Memorial Day 5. Columbus Day 8. Eastern Time. email. Independence Day 6.dol.. Labor Day 7. 6.2 Support Services Live Customer Service: 1-866-463-3278 (1-866-GO EFAST) Email: efast@dol. lost. They will be available to all users (both the general public and registered users).m.efast.m. and Publications. Monday through Friday. Instructions.1 Online Instructions A variety of guides and resources are available to help EFAST2 system users. to 8:00 p. Contact Center representatives can guide callers to the appropriate information within the form instructions and refer callers to the appropriate agency when necessary. Jr.gov Assistance is available for filers by telephone.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. or compromised electronic credentials • Preparation of Form 5500/5500-SF and accompanying components (who must complete the form.. CHAPTER SU S PP UPPO RT A ORT ND TTROUBLESHO AND OTTING ROUBLESHOO ING 6. Christmas Day The Contact Center can help users with the following types of inquiries: • General information about the EFAST2 web site and electronic filing • Registration process and obtaining electronic filing credentials • EFAST2 account administration • Forgotten. what must be included in the filing). and web-form with regard to filing submissions and errors. Birthday of Martin Luther King. except for Federal Holidays (see list below). Email and web-form requests can be submitted at anytime with an anticipated response time of no more than two business days. Thanksgiving Day 10. Page 32 .gov Online: www. President’s Day 4. 3.

or functionality (problems are immediately reported to EFAST2 processing and system maintenance staff for resolution) If users have questions or problems related to the use of EFAST2-approved third-party software that the Contact Center cannot address. they should use the technical support offered by the software provider.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. Page 33 .1/122909F • Transmission of filing • Receipt of acknowledgements • Status of filing receipt and processing • Acknowledgement messages received in response to edit test failures • Questions or problems with the ERISA Filing Data Search (searching for filings) • System performance. availability.

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS DLN Document Locator Number DER Data Element Requirements DFE Direct Filing Entities DOL Department of Labor EBSA Employee Benefits Security Administration EFAST2 ERISA Filing Acceptance System 2 EIN Employer Identification Number ERISA Employee Retirement Income Security Act HTML Hyper Text Markup Language HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol HTTPS Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Sockets Layer IFILE Internet Based Filing Application PATS Participant Acceptance Testing System PBGC Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation PDF Portable Document Format PIN Personal Identification Number PN Plan Number SSL Secure Sockets Layer TE/GE Tax Exempt and Government Entities XML Extensible Markup Language Page 34 .1/122909F Appendix A.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.

dol.gov. DOL will use the information requested to respond to your inquiry or to provide you with the service associated with the request. Should you wish to file a request under FOIA. DOL does not collect personally-identifying information about you when you visit our site. The information we receive depends upon what you do when visiting our site. However. such as your mailing address in an electronic mail message requesting that information be mailed to you. including. This Privacy Notice will either appear on the Web page collecting the information or be accessible through a link prominently displayed immediately preceding the information request.usdoj. The above information is used by software programs on our Web site to create summary statistics which allow us to assess the number of visitors to the different sections of our site. instructions are provided at: http://www. but not limited to. The date and time you access our site.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. determine technical design specifications.. As a general rule. when we request this information.gov/oip/index. if you are connecting from DOL's computer account). If you respond to an online request for personal information: Generally. DOL makes every effort to ensure compliance with applicable federal law. use and disclosure of personal information.g. monitor system performance. The Privacy Act of 1974. you may decide to send us personally-identifying information. If you identify yourself by sending an e-mail containing personal information: Information collected in these instances is used solely for responding to requests for information or records. We may forward your e-mail to other employees at other Government agencies (e. For example. Treasury Department/IRS. If you visit our site to read or download information: We collect and store the following information: The name of the domain from which you access the Internet (for example. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation) who are better able to respond to you. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. With respect to the collection. The Internet address of the Web site from which you linked directly to our site. and The Freedom of Information Act.html Page 35 .1/122909F Appendix B. identify what information is of most and least interest. unless you choose to provide such information to us. and help us make our site more useful to visitors. we fully describe in a customized "Privacy Notice" the reasons for collecting it and DOL's intended use of the information. PRIVACY AND SECURITY STATEMENT Below is the complete text of the privacy statement that users must read and accept in order to be registered in EFAST2 and to obtain the necessary electronic filing credentials: Thank you for visiting the Department of Labor (DOL) Web site and reviewing our privacy and security statement. DOL is strongly committed to maintaining the privacy of your personal information and the security of DOL computer systems.

you are no longer on our site and are subject to the privacy policy of the new site. Page 36 . identify and provide you with the information you want) and help you traverse our Web pages in the most efficient and effective manner possible. DOL does not use cookies to collect any personally-identifying information from users or to track user activities beyond our Web site. With the session established. the session will be terminated DOL limits its use of cookies to "session cookies" . 2001. Effective January. Session cookies are normally deleted from a user's computer when the user logs off the computer or the user exits the browser.types of cookies that could be stored permanently on your workstation and reused each time you visit DOL's EFAST2 Web site.types of cookies that are temporarily stored in your computer's memory. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and The National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996." or "dialog. Cookies are small pieces of temporary data that are exchanged between a web site and a user's computer which enable a "session.e. DOL does not maintain copies of cookies on our Web site after you leave our Web site. Our Web site employs software programs for security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users. or to block traffic that might otherwise cause damage. Cookie Use Notice DOL employs "cookies" to provide better service to its customers." to be established between the two machines. DOL stopped issuing "persistent cookies" . When you link to any of these sites.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. This software monitors network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information. When DOL's server does not receive further requests from your computer or you simply exit your browser. DOL is able to tailor its responses (i..1/122909F If you link to other sites outside DOL: Our Web site has many links to other sites.

The applicant understands that acceptance as an EFAST2 Software Developer or Transmitter is not transferable. and to the best of my knowledge and belief the information provided in my request for access to the EFAST2 system is true. and complete. the applicant further agrees that a copy of all returns/reports that the applicant transmits electronically to the Department of Labor will be provided to the plan administrator. If I am not the Transmitter.1/122909F Appendix C. SIGNATURE AGREEMENT I understand and agree that the electronic signature is not transferable and that the inclusion of such electronic signature in a Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF return/report filed in electronic form shall have the same legal force and effect as my hand written signature. I also agree that my electronic signature on a Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF constitutes consent for EFAST personnel to send my Transmitter an acknowledgment of receipt of transmission and to communicate with my Transmitter about the success or failure of the transmission and specific reason(s) for any failure(s). If I am an EFAST Software Developer or EFAST Transmitter. Page 37 . I declare that I am authorized to make and sign this statement on behalf of the applicant. I declare that I have examined this agreement. The applicant agrees that it and its employees will comply with all provisions of the EFAST2 procedures for the electronic filing of Forms 5500 or 5500-SF for each year in which the applicant participates. Under penalties of perjury. employer or direct filing entity on whose behalf the return/report was transmitted. If applying to be an EFAST2 Transmitter. Noncompliance will result in the applicant no longer being allowed to participate as an EFAST2 Software Developer or Transmitter.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4. correct. I declare that I am authorized to make and sign this statement.

1/122909F Appendix D. and • Access your personal records If your PIN is lost or stolen. you also agree to: • Contact the EFAST2 Contact Center at 1-866-463-3278 (1-866-GO-EFAST). PIN AGREEMENT By activating your PIN. you agree not to share your PIN with anyone. or • Request a new PIN by selecting Change My PIN from the EFAST2 Web site Page 38 . The security of your PIN is important because it can be used to: • Electronically sign documents.EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.

Schedule SB Schedule SB.Who Must File Actuary Signature PlanAtRisk Schedule SB Line 4 Additional Information for Plans in At-Risk Status PlanProvisions Schedule MB Line 6 Summary of Plan Provisions Schedule SB Part V Summary of Plan Provisions ReasonableCause Form 5500 Administrative Penalties Explanation of Reasonable Cause Form 5500-SF Administrative Penalties Explanation of Reasonable Cause SchABasisStmtPremRate Schedule A Line 6a Basis of Premium Rates Schedule of Assets (Acquired and Disposed of Within SchAssetsAcqDisp Schedule H Line 4i Year) SchAssetsHeld Schedule H Line 4i Schedule of Assets (Held at End of Year) Actuarial Information Based on Pre-PPA Funding SchB Schedule SB Line 27 Rules Page 39 . Line 4j Transactions Schedule MB . EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.1/122909F Appendix E. TYPES OF OTHER ATTACHMENTS Line Item Number in Attachment Type Code Form / Schedule 5500/5500-SF Instructions Attachment Description ActiveParticipData Schedule MB Line 8b Schedule of Active Participant Data Schedule SB Line 26 Schedule of Active Participant Data ActrlAssmptnMthds Schedule MB Line 6 Statement of Actuarial Assumptions/Methods Schedule SB Line 23 Statement of Actuarial Assumptions/Methods Explanation of Prior Year Credit Balance/Funding ActrlPriorYrCreditFndgDeficiency Schedule MB Line 9f Deficiency Discrepancy Schedule MB .Statement by Enrolled Schedule MB and Schedule SB Statement by Enrolled ActuaryStatement by Enrolled Actuary Actuary Actuary DelnqntPartcpContrib Schedule H Line 4a Schedule of Delinquent Participant Contributions Schedule I Line 4a Schedule of Delinquent Participant Contributions The financial statements will be placed in the FinancialStatements Schedule H Line 3 attachment for the accountant's opinion The financial statements will be placed in the Schedule I Line 4k attachment for the accountant's opinion 5% Transaction Schedule .Statement by MBSBActuarySignature Schedule MB Enrolled Actuary Copy of Schedule MB in PDF format Copy of Schedule SB in PDF format labeled SB Schedule SB Schedule SB .Schedule of Reportable FivePrcntTrans Schedule H.Statement by Schedule MB and Enrolled Actuary. Statement .

50 Statement SchMBActrlCertification Schedule MB Line 4a Actuarial Certification of Status SchMBActrlIllustration Schedule MB Line 4a Illustration Supporting Actuarial Certification of Status SchMBDfrlChargeNetLoss Removed from instructions SchMBEstRateInvestReturnActrl Schedule MB Line 6g Estimated Rate of Investment Return (Actuarial Value) SchMBEstRateInvestReturnCurrent Schedule MB Line 6h Estimated Rate of Investment Return (Current Value) SchMBFndgStndAccntBases Schedule MB Lines 9c and 9h Schedule of Funding Standard Account Bases SchMBJustificationChgActrlAssmp t Schedule MB Line 11 Justification for Change in Actuarial Assumptions Documentation Regarding Progress Under Funding SchMBPlanFndngProgress Schedule MB Line 4c Improvement or Rehabilitation Plan SchMBReorgStatusExpln Schedule MB Line 5 Reorganization Status Explanation SchMBReorgStatusWorksheet Schedule MB Line 5 Reorganization Status Worksheet Information on Assets and Liabilities Transferred to or SchRAssetLiabTransfer Schedule R Line 17 Merged with This Plan SchRCollectBargainExpireDate Schedule R Line 13d Collective Bargaining Agreement Expiration Date SchRContribRateUnitMeasure Schedule R Line 13e Information on Contribution Rates and Base Units SchRFundingImprovementPlan Schedule R Part V Summary of Funding Improvement Plan Funded Percentage of Plans Contributing to the SchRMultiplePlansLiab Schedule R Line 18 Liabilities of Plan Participants SchRRehabPlan Schedule R Part V Summary of Rehabilitation Plan SchSBAlt17YrFndngAirlines Schedule SB Line 27 Alternative 17-Year Funding Schedule for Airlines SchSBAmortzBases Schedule SB Line 32 Schedule of Amortization Bases SchSBBalSubjectToPBGC Schedule SB Line 27 Balances Subject to Binding Agreement with PBGC SchSBDiscountEmplrContrib Schedule SB Line 19 Discounted Employer Contributions SchSBEachIndividualEmplrInfo Schedule SB Line E Information for Each Individual Employer SchSBLiquidRqmntCert Schedule SB Line 20c Liquidity Requirement Certification SchSBMethodChange Schedule SB Line 25 Change in Method SchSBNonPrescribedActrlAssmptn Schedule SB Line 24 Change in Actuarial Assumptions SchSBSubMortalityTable Schedule SB Line 23 Information on Use of Substitute Mortality Tables WeightedAvgRtmtAge Schedule SB Line 22 Description of Weighted Average Retirement Age Page 40 .1/122909F Line Item Number in Attachment Type Code Form / Schedule 5500/5500-SF Instructions Attachment Description Part III Termination Termination Information on Accountants and Enrolled SchCTermAccntOrActuary Schedule C Information Actuaries SchGOverdueLeaseExpln Schedule G Part II Leases in Default Overdue Lease Explanation SchGOverdueLoanExpln Schedule G Part I Loans in Default Overdue Loan Explanation SchIWaiverIQPA Schedule I Line 4k 2520-104. EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.

1/122909F Line Item Number in Attachment Type Code Form / Schedule 5500/5500-SF Instructions Attachment Description OtherAttachment Schedule SB Line 4 Explanation of Status Update of Funding Improvement Plan or Schedule R Part V Rehabilitation Plan Explanation of Discrepancy in Prior Year Funding Schedule SB Line 7 Standard Carryover Balance or Prefunding Balance Late Election to Apply Balances to Quarterly Schedule SB Line 8 Installments Schedule SB Line 9 Explanation of Credit Balance Discrepancy Schedule SB Line 23 Information on Use of Multiple Mortality Tables Page 41 . EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.

1/122909F APPENDIX F: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT & STATUS CODES • PROCESSING: Filing is currently being processed by the EFAST2 system • FILING_RECEIVED: Filing passed all error checks but may have failed “warning” checks and is received by the Government • FILING_ERROR: Filing failed one or more error checks • PROCESSING_STOPPED: Filing failed one or more critical error checks • FILING_UNPROCESSABLE: Filing could not be read and is not received by the Government • FILING_NOT_FOUND: A filing with the matching AckId was not found (related to queries in Data Dissemination) Page 42 .EFAST2 EFAST2 Guide to Filers & Service Providers Document Version ID 4.