Pension & Benefits News IRS issues 2019 required amendments list for individually designed plans
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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

IRS issues 2019 required amendments list for individually designed plans

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The IRS has released the 2019 Required Amendments List for individually designed qualified retirement plans and 403(b) plans. The list identifies certain changes in qualification requirements that became effective in 2019 that may require a retirement plan to be amended in order to remain qualified.

In Rev. Proc. 2016-37, the IRS provides that, for disqualifying provisions that arise as a result of a change in qualification requirements, the IRS will publish annually a Required Amendments (RA) List, which will establish the deadline for a plan to be amended. The deadline for amendments will be, unless otherwise provided, the end of the second calendar year following the year in which the list is issued. Similarly, Rev. Proc. 2019-39 provides that, with respect to a form defect in a 403(b) individually designed plan, the remedial amendment period arising as a result of a change in 403(b) requirements ends on the last day of the second calendar year that begins after the issuance of the RA List on which the change in 403(b) requirements appears.

Remedial amendment period/plan amendment deadline. December 31, 2021 generally is the last day of the remedial amendment period with respect to a disqualifying provision arising as a result of a change in qualification requirements that appears on the 2019 RA List and to a form defect arising as a result of a change in 403(b) requirements that appears on the 2019 RA List. In addition, December 31, 2021 is generally the plan amendment deadline for a disqualifying provision arising as a result of a change in qualification requirements that appears on the 2019 RA List as well as for a form defect arising as a result of a change in 403(b) requirements that appears on the 2019 RA List. However, a later date may apply to a governmental plan (as defined in Code Sec. 414(d)).

Organization of RA List. The RA List is divided into two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A covers changes in qualification requirements that generally would require an amendment to most plans or to most plans of the type affected by the change. Part A includes final regulations concerning hardship distributions and cash balance/hybrid defined benefit plans.

Part B includes changes in qualification requirements that the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate will not require amendments in most plans, but might require an amendment because of an unusual plan provision in a particular plan. There are no changes listed in Part B.

The IRS notes that the fact that a change in a qualification requirement is included on the RA list does not mean that a plan must be amended as a result of that change. Each plan sponsor must determine whether a particular change in a qualification requirement requires an amendment to its plan.

Source: IRS Notice 2019-64.

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