Monday, February 6, 2017

Remedial Amendment Period for §403(b) Plans

Sponsors of 403(b) plans, both those subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and non-ERISA plans, were required (with few exceptions) to have in place a written plan document by December 31, 2009. Sponsors who did so will be able to restate their plans to adopt one of the prototype plans or volume submitter plans when they become available.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2013-22 in March 2013, which provided guidelines for issuing opinion and advisory letters for §403(b) prototype plans and volume submitter plans. The Revenue Procedure stated that a remedial amendment period would be available whereby eligible employers could retroactively correct defects in the form of written 403(b) plans. The Revenue Procedure defined a defect as a provision (or the absence of a required provision) that causes the plan to fail to satisfy the operational requirements of Section 403(b). Revenue Procedure 2013-22 stated that any such defect must be corrected on or before the last day of the remedial period. However, the remedial amendment period was not defined in the Revenue Procedure.

With the release of Revenue Procedure 2017-18, IRS has announced that the last day of the remedial amendment period is March 31, 2020. IRS plans to issue approval letters on the plans that have been submitted by March 31, 2017. Thus, if a plan has not satisfied the requirements of Section 403(b) with the prototype documents during the remedial amendment period but is amended by March 31, 2020 to satisfy those requirements, the plan will be considered to have satisfied those requirements for the entire period.

It should be noted that the pre-approved prototype plans have not yet been made available.

If you have any questions or would like to begin talking to an advisor, please get in touch by calling (800) 388-1963 or e-mail us at hbs@hanys.org.