Pension & Benefits News 2020-2021 IRS Priority Guidance Plan includes many employee benefits projects
Friday, December 18, 2020

2020-2021 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 2020-2021 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 IRS notes that for the past three years guidance has been issued to implement the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), of which many have been reflected in prior Priority Guidance Plans. The IRS expects that virtually all published guidance necessary to implement TCJA will be issued by December 31, 2020. This includes the issuance of 59 final regulations, 42 revenue procedures, 59 notices, and other guidance.

The 2020-2021 Priority Guidance Plan contains guidance projects that will be the focus of efforts during the 12-month period from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. The 2020-2021 Priority Guidance Plan contains 191 guidance projects. As of September 30, 2020, 57 guidance items have been released.

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;
  • IRAs for statutory changes and additional issues;
  • electronic delivery rules for providing applicable notices and making participant elections;
  • life expectancy and distribution period tables for purposes of the required minimum distribution rules;
  • SECURE Act modifications to certain rules governing Code Sec. 401(k) plans;
  • unified plan rule for Code Sec. 413(c) multiple employer plans;
  • the definition of governmental plan under Code Sec. 414(d);
  • reporting requirements under Code Sec. 6057; and
  • 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:

  • electronic filing requirements for exempt organizations and employee plans to reflect changes made by the Taxpayer First Act;
  • student loan payments and qualified retirement and Code Sec. 403(b) plans; and
  • missing participants, including guidance on uncashed checks.

Exec comp, health care and other guidance. Also included in the 2020-2021 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;
  • 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; and
  • regulations under Code Secs. 4980H and 105(h) related to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

Source: 2020-2021 Priority Guidance Plan.

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