For financial professionals who wish to prospect in the retirement plan market, the most valuable public data source is a Form 5500 that the U.S. Department of Labor requires plans to file annually under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
The form must be filed by all pension plans covered by ERISA, including inactive plans with no contributions or benefit payments, within seven months from the end of the plan year. The report must be completed on a computer-scannable form or electronic filing system that facilitates public inspection.
Total employees and HCEs: Schedule T provides information on plan coverage and nondiscrimination testing, including the total number of employees and the number who are considered Highly-Compensated Employees (HCEs).
Trust and Trustee (or Custodian): Schedule P is the annual return for the fiduciary of an Employee Benefit Trust, if there is one. This identifies the specific trust that holds investment assets and the trustee or custodian responsible for investment policy and due diligence.