A plan sponsor’s guide to Form 8955-SSA

The Form 8955-SSA is used to report employees who no longer work for your company but still have a vested account balance within your plan.

Updated over a week ago

The Form 8955-SSA is used to report employees who no longer work for your company but still have a vested account balance within your plan. Once those employees move money out of their accounts, Form 8955-SSA will be filed again to report those distributions.

Although the report is submitted to the IRS, the information is shared with the Social Security Administration (SSA) who maintains a record of this information.

Retired employees who never moved money out of their account will be notified about their available funds by the Social Security Administration based on the reporting from Form 8955-SSA.

Here are answers to common questions about Form 8955-SSA.

What information is reported in Form 8955-SSA?

The form requires the social security number, name of each participant reported (terminated employees who still have a vested balance in your plan but have not yet received the retirement benefits), and their vested account balances.

Once any previously reported participants take these distributions, Form 8955-SSA will be filed again for the year it occurs, stating the distribution of those funds.

Does Guideline file Form 8955-SSA?

As a Guideline 401(k) sponsor, preparation and electronic filing of the Form 8955-SSA is included at no additional charge to you. However, we must receive any necessary information (as outlined below) from you in a timely manner to file.

If you transferred your plan to Guideline this year and need to file your Form 8955-SSA for the previous plan year, you should work with your prior service provider.

What do I need to provide Guideline to file my Form 8955-SSA?

To file your Form 8955-SSA, we’ll need the full name, social security number, and termination date of each dismissed participant for whom we are required to file. It is important that you maintain this information in your company’s human resource or payroll system for accuracy and government filing purposes.

We will need to report any employee who still has a vested account balance at the time of filing and who has left the company or the plan in the year prior to the tax filing year.

For example, if Jenny was dismissed on April 4, 2023 with a vested account balance of $1,000, she will not be reported on the 2023 Form 8955-SSA. If Jenny maintains her account balance throughout 2024 and up to July 31, 2025, we will file a 2024 Form 8955-SSA and report Jenny’s vested balance on the 2024 Form 8955-SSA.

If Jenny then rolls her vested balance out of her account in October 2027 after we filed a 2024 Form 8955-SSA for her, we will then report the $0 balance for the filing year in which the distribution occurs. In this case, we would include Jenny on the 2027 Form 8955-SSA with a $0 balance. Jenny would not be included on the 2025 and 2026 Form 8955-SSAs.

Will Guideline handle Form 8955-SSA filings from before we joined?

If you had a plan prior to Guideline, you or your prior service provider should have filed a Form 8955-SSA for each plan year in which there were participants to report.

You should reach out to your prior service provider to confirm they filed for any applicable plan years prior to switching to Guideline.

If your forms were not filed before switching to Guideline, we will report all terminated participants with an account balance as of the date your plan starts with Guideline. However, penalties may apply for any participants who are reported late due to missed filings in prior years. You can learn more about penalties related to the filing of Forms 8955-SSA here.

What is the due date for Form 8955-SSA filing?

If your plan year ends on December 31, your Form 8955-SSA is due by July 31 of the following year or on the last day of the seventh month after the end of the plan year. If necessary, we’ll file an extension until October 15 to complete the filing.

If you do not have any participants to report for a plan year, we will not file a Form 8955-SSA, unless we need to file for participants who should have been reported in a previous year.

Where can I find my Form 8955-SSA filed by Guideline?

We do not make Forms 8955-SSA available because they contain personally identifiable information for previous employees. If you would like to request a copy of the information reported on your 8955-SSA, please contact our administrator support team.

Where can I learn more about Form 8955-SSA?

You can learn more about Form 8955-SSA on the IRS FAQ here.

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