IRS, DOL & ERISA Regulatory Update
IRS Expands Pre-Approved Plan Program to Include Cash Balance Plans and ESOPs With great anticipation, the Internal Revenue Service finally issued a revised procedure that adds cash balance plans and employee & stock ownership plans (ESOPs) under its pre-approved master, prototype (M&P) and volume submitter plan program……. read full article IRS Again Extends Deadline for Pre-Approved PPA Defined Benefit and Cash Balance Plans As expected, the Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for sponsors (including mass submitter sponsors) to submit applications for pre-approved PPA defined benefit and cash balance plans. In IRS Announcement 2014-41 (“Announcement”), the IRS extends the deadline to June 30, 2015 from its previously announced deadline of February 2, 2015……. read full article No IRS Guidance on Opening PPA DB Plans In IRS Announcement 2014-4 (“Announcement”), the IRS announced an extension, to February 2, 2015, of the deadline for the submission of applications for pre-approved PPA defined benefit plans. This extension was intended to allow pre-approved defined benefit plans to include cash balance provisions for the first time and for the IRS to develop the parameters of the revised program… read full article IRS Extends Submission Deadline for Pre-Approved PPA DB Plans The IRS has announced an extension, to February 2, 2015, of the deadline for the submission of applications for pre-approved PPA defined benefit plans. (See IRS Announcement 2014-4). This extension is intended to allow pre-approved defined benefit plans to include cash balance provisions for the first time…. read full article IRS (Finally) Issues New Guidance on In-Plan Roth Rollovers No Amendment Needed for 2013! The Internal Revenue Service has finally issued new guidance (Notice 2013-74) relating to rollovers of “otherwise nondistributable amounts” to designated Roth accounts in the same plan. Unfortunately, the guidance has come late in the year and some plan document providers and employers have already acted to permit these types of rollovers…. read full article Updated Safe Harbor Notice Language Added to DGEM System On November 14, 2013, the IRS issued final regulations updating the procedures for reducing or suspending safe harbor contributions during the year. Prior to the issuance of the final regulations, an employer could amend its plan to prospectively reduce safe harbor matching contributions during the year, provided the employer satisfied the following requirements… read full article Defined Benefit Plan Update Document sponsors (including prototype and volume submitter sponsors) must ensure that employers using their defined benefit plans have adopted an interim amendment dealing with the requirements of Internal Revenue Code §436 by the end of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2013. This means by December 31, 2013 for calendar year plans. read full article IRS Issues Guidance on Recognition of Same-Gender Marriage Rules Apply as of September 16, 2013! In the recently-issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the Internal Revenue Service provides guidance related to the Supreme Court’s ruling that part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. Under DOMA, same-gender marriages were not recognized for federal law purposes, even if the marriage was recognized under state law. read full article DOL Delays Deadline for Annual Fee Disclosure to Plan Participants The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has effectively postponed the deadline for plan administrators to distribute the annual fee disclosure to plan participants, as required under the ERISA §404(a)(5) regulations. Under the regulations, initial disclosures were due August 30, 2012 and then “at least annually thereafter”, meaning subsequent disclosures needed to be provided at least once in any 12-month period. For example, a plan that provided the initial disclosure on August 20, 2012 would have been required to furnish the 2013 disclosure not later than August 20, 2013. read full article Impact of Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision on Qualified Retirement Plans On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. Under DOMA, same-sex marriages were not recognized for federal law purposes, even if the marriage was recognized under state law. This ruling will have a significant impact on employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans. read full article IRS Opens 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan Program After years of waiting, the Internal Revenue Service has issued its procedures for obtaining pre-approval of 403(b) plan documents. Revenue Procedure 2013-22 institutes a pre-approval program similar to the program for 401(a) qualified plans. Under the new program, document sponsors may obtain pre-approval letters for prototype 403(b) plans and volume submitter 403(b) plans. read full article IRS Updates EPCRS Procedures On December 31, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Procedure 2013-12, updating the procedures for the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). EPCRS provides comprehensive procedures that allow plan sponsors of tax-qualified retirement plans to avoid plan disqualification due to plan errors. Practitioners and plan sponsors have awaited this update for some time, since the last update was in 2008. read full article 2012 Plan Amendment Review No Required Interim Amendments for 2012! As the year comes to a close, many practitioners are reviewing their client’s qualified retirement plans to determine whether any plan amendment is necessary for 2012. This ASCi Alert 12-06 summarizes the responsibility practitioners have to ensure that their client’s plans remain up-to-date with legislative and regulatory requirements and the need to amend plans for 2012. read full article Participant Fee Disclosure – Plan-Related Information for the Quarterly Disclosure (Part 4) We have all been inundated with information on fee disclosure over the last several years. To help you, the retirement plan professional, we have summarized the information (including deadlines) you need to know into a four-part series. read full article Participant Fee Disclosure – Plan-Related Information for the Quarterly Disclosure (Part 3) We have all been inundated with information on fee disclosure over the last several years. To help you, the retirement plan professional, we have summarized the information (including deadlines) you need to know into a four-part series. read full article Participant Fee Disclosure – Plan-Related Information for the Initial and Annual Disclosure (Part 2) We have all been inundated with information on fee disclosure over the last several years. To help you, the retirement plan professional, we have summarized the information (including deadlines) you need to know into a four-part series. read full article Participant Fee Disclosure – Are Your Clients (and You) Ready? (Part 1) We have all been inundated with information on fee disclosure over the last several years. To help you, the retirement plan professional, we have summarized the information (including deadlines) you need to know into a four-part series. read full article New IRS Restrictions for Obtaining Determination Letters Each year, the Internal Revenue Service revises its procedures for obtaining favorable determination letters and the associated user fees. read full article IRS Finally Issues New Procedures for Pre-Approved Plan Submissions — November 2011 Since February 1, 2011, plan sponsors and mass submitters have had the opportunity to submit their pre-approved defined contribution plans to the Internal Revenue Service to obtain new opinion and advisory letters. read full article Document Providers Wait for IRS Guidance on Pre-Approved Plan Submissions — September 2011 Document providers, including the ASC Institute (ASCi), are waiting for guidance from the Internal Revenue Service on the submission process for pre-approved defined contribution plans, including master & prototype (M&P) and volume submitter plans. read full article IRS/Treasury Staff Meets with Retirement Plan Practitioners – July 2011 On July 13, 2011, the Determination Letter Liaison Group met in Washington, DC to discuss current issues relating to the IRS’ determination letter program, the pre-approved plan program and other retirement plan document matters. read full article 250% Increase in IRS Fees for Determination Letters – February 2011 Recently, the Internal Revenue Service raised fees by as much as 250% for determination letters for individually-designed qualified retirement plans. In some cases the fee goes from $1,800 to $4500! You can avoid these fee increases, and even pay less fees, when you choose to utilize a pre-approved plan. read full article Pension Provisions under Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (SBJA) was signed into law on September 27, 2010. Although the primary focus of the SBJA was to expand the availability of credit for small businesses, there are two major provisions that will affect qualified retirement plans, 403(b) plans and governmental 457(b) plans. read full article Some Observations: DOL Fee Disclosure Regulations July 2010 By this time, you likely have read much about the Department of Labor’s new fee disclosure regulations issued in July. These “interim final” regulations continue the DOL’s initiative to ensure that there is adequate disclosure relating to retirement plans to ensure that plan fiduciaries and participants have enough information to make knowledgeable decisions regarding the fees being paid under retirement plans. read full article Determining Actuarial Equivalence under Cash Balance Plans – Per PPA 2006 When selecting assumptions for actuarial equivalence before the changes made under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), it was not unusual for traditional defined benefit plans to make reference to the Code §417(e) assumptions. With the changes under PPA, referencing Code §417(e) rates for actuarial equivalence can cause difficulty for the plan’s actuary, especially for cash balance plans. read full article