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Please Note: This page includes full instructions for a number of functions using the portal. You may only have permission to perform certain functions in the portal and, therefore, most of the information in this guide may not apply to you.

Portal User Guide


Accessing the Portal. Top

There are three ways to access the portal.

  • You receive an invitation via email with a link to the portal website (usually contains your Login name and password),
  • You gain access to the portal via a preparer's website, or
  • Go to

Logging In. Top

You will need your login name and password to log in. This must be provided to you by your forms/document preparer.

Portal Options. Top

The options you see after logging in to the portal will depend on the tasks you have permissions to perform. The permissions are generally set by your forms or document preparer.

5500 Software Portal Options. Top

View/Print Draft 5500. Top

You can view/download the 5500 filing as a pdf before the filing has been locked by the preparer. To view the PDF, click on the "View/Print Draft 5500" link.

Finish 5500. Top

You have the ability to edit the 5500 filing via the portal for specific questions/fields that were selected by the preparer. After clicking on the "Finish 5500" link, you will see a draft/edit screen for the filing (like that shown on the right) where fields that you may edit will be highlighted in green.

There is no need to click on update buttons in the software. Changes are automatically saved once they are entered.

When you are entering data on a schedule, you may click on the blue buttons with question marks next to the line item on the form to read the help materials related to that line item.

Visual Edit Checks. While you are editing a form/schedule you may click on the "Run Edit Checks" link at the top left of the screen. This will visually show you the edit checks by highlighting the field where there is an error/warning. Errors are coded yellow for a failed edit check and red for an invalid entry (invalid date; 13/04/2009, for example). You can double-click on any highlighted field for more information on the edit check and close the window that appears by clicking on "close".

If you would like to complete the form without viewing the visual edit checks, you may click on "Clear Edit Checks" at the top left of the screen.

NOTE: The purpose of the edit checks is to look for missing and/or inconsistent data. The edit checks are NOT intended to check for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of every response.

When you are done, click on the "I'm Done" button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

Upload Attachments. Top

You may have the ability to upload attachments via the portal. After clicking on the "Finish 5500" link from the portal, click on the link "Upload Attachments" to select from the list of attachments that you may upload to the system (link shown with an arrow at right).

There are limits to the size of a filing that will be accepted by the DOL. In general, scanned attachments should be saved as black and white images. Resolutions of as low as 100 x 100 will typically produce an acceptable image. A resolution of 300 x 300 creates files of approximately 1 MB per page. There should not be any filings that need to undergo exception processing due to EFAST2 limitations if attachments are scanned at 300 x 300 or lower resolution.

After clicking on "Upload Attachments", you will be taken to the Upload Attachments screen shown at right. Select the attachment to upload (if more than one is allowed), browse for the file, give it a name and click on "Add Attachment". The list of permissible attachments is set by the preparer.

Once an attachment has been added, it will be listed in the "Uploaded Attachments" box.

Print and Sign 5500. Top

After clicking on the link to "Print and Sign 5500", you will be taken to the "Sign 5500" page shown at right.

You must first click on the link to "Print 5500" before you will be permitted to enter your UserID and PIN to electronically sign the filing. There are also instructions to sign the paper version of the filing with a wet signature and a suggestion to save the PDF file to your hard-drive.

Once you electronically sign the filing (enter your UserID, PIN and click on "sign 5500"), you will be taken to a status page. The status page shown at right (with a "Not submitted" status) is an example of a status where there is still another signer that needs to sign before the filing is complete.

Check Filing Status. Top

Signers may always log back into the portal to check the status of the filing. The user will see a link as shown at right to "Check Filing Status".

The statuses and their meanings are described below.

  • Not Submitted: your filing has not yet been signed/submitted. Once signed, the filing status should be changed to "Submitted" as all filings are automatically submitted once the proper e-signatures have been obtained.
  • Submitted: your filing has been submitted to the DOL, but it has not been accepted yet. Next to a ‘Submitted’ status you’ll be given an option to ‘Check Acceptance’ which may be clicked on in order to check the status of your plan.
  • Accepted: the DOL has accepted the filing.
  • Not Accepted: the DOL has not accepted the filing due to the plan not meeting DOL required edit checks. The software should provide you with a list of the DOL errors. (These errors are also included in the edit checks on the preparation system so if your plan has no errors before filing, your filing should be accepted). The filing is still considered filed but you will likely need to amend the filing.
  • Rejected: If certain fields are missing, your filing will be rejected. The fields are: plan year end/begin dates, EIN, plan number, and plan name. You will not have the option to amend the filing since the filing was never filed according to the DOL. You will need to unlock, modify and re-submit the filing to the DOL.

Special Topics. Top

Procedures for Obtaining Signing Credentials with the DOL. Top

To view detailed instructions for obtaining signing credentials at the DOL website, click here.

I've lost my username/password for the portal. What should I do? Top

You must contact your forms/document preparer.