Pension & Benefits News 2019-2020 IRS Priority Guidance Plan includes many employee benefits projects
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

2019-2020 IRS Priority Guidance Plan includes many employee benefits projects

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

Numerous employee benefits projects are included in the IRS’s 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan. The Plan describes areas in which the IRS intends to issue final regulations, proposed regulations, and other guidance, including regularly scheduled guidance, such as interest rates and COLAs. The Plan also includes burden reduction projects. The IRS notes that it may update the Plan during the plan year to reflect additional items that have become priorities and guidance that the IRS has issued during the plan year. The plan continues to prioritize the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) and to reflect the deregulatory policies and reforms described in Executive Orders 13789 and 13777.

Regs slated to be finalized. In the retirement benefits area, the IRS plans to deliver regulations on:

  • the application of the normal retirement age regulations under Code Sec. 401(a) to governmental plans;
  • qualified plan loan offset amounts under Code Sec. 402(c)(3)(C);
  • closed defined benefit plans and related matters;
  • life expectancy and distribution period tables for purposes of the required minimum distribution rules;
  • IRAs;
  • rules for service credit and vesting under Code Sec. 411;
  • the treatment of future interest credits and annuity conversion factors under a hybrid defined benefit plan and adjustments under a variable annuity plan for certain qualification requirements;
  • unified plan rule for Code Sec. 413(c) multiple employer plans;
  • the definition of governmental plan under Code Sec. 414(d);
  • church plans;
  • reporting requirements under Code Sec. 6057; and
  • updates to the minimum present value requirements for defined benefit plans under Code Sec. 417(e).

Other pension guidance anticipated. Other pension guidance anticipated to be released includes the following issues:

  • certain IRS, Tax Exempt and Government Entities, Employee Plans programs, including the Pre-approved Plan Program, the Determination Letter Program and the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS);
  • student loan payments and qualified retirement plans and Code Sec. 403(b) plans;
  • the timing of amendments to Code Sec. 403(b) plans;
  • unified plan rule for Code Sec. 413(c) multiple employer plans; and
  • the aggregation rules under Code Sec. 414(m).

Exec comp, health care and other guidance. Also included in the 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan are items in the executive compensation, health care and other benefits, and employment taxation areas. Among these items are:

  • regulations under Code Secs. 119 and 132 on employer-provided meals;
  • guidance under Code Sec. 125 on Health FSAs;
  • regulations and other guidance under Code Secs. 419A and 501(c)(9) relating to welfare benefit fund, including voluntary employees’ beneficiary association (VEBAs);
  • final regulations on income inclusion and other issues under Code Sec. 409A;
  • final regulations under Code Sec. 457(f) and related guidance on ineligible plans;
  • guidance on contributions to and benefits from paid family and medical leave programs;
  • regulations under Code Secs. 4980H and 105(h) related to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs); and
  • guidance under Code Sec. 4980I regarding the excise tax on high cost employer-provided coverage.

SOURCE: 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan.

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