Pension & Benefits News IRS postpones certain deadlines affecting employee benefits and IRAs due to COVID-19 emergency
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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

IRS postpones certain deadlines affecting employee benefits and IRAs due to COVID-19 emergency

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The IRS is postponing deadlines for certain time-sensitive actions due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. Among other things, this relief affects employee benefit plans and individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). Relief is also provided for health savings accounts (HSAs), Archer and Medicare Advantage medical saving accounts (MSAs), and Coverdell education savings accounts.

With certain exceptions, the relief postpones deadlines for certain actions due to be performed on or after March 30, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. The revised deadline for an affected taxpayer to perform a time-sensitive action described in the relief is July 15, 2020, unless a different revised deadline is specified. The relief provided here is because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and is in addition to the relief provided under IRS Notice 2020-18 (I.R.B. 2020-15, April 6, 2020), IRS Notice 2020-20 (I.R.B. 2020-16, April 13, 2020), and IRS Notice 2020-23.

Qualified retirement plans. For employee benefit plans (including a 403(b) plan, a governmental section 457(b) plan, a SEP plan described in Code Sec. 408(k), or a SIMPLE IRA plan described in Code Sec. 408(p)), or any sponsor, administrator, participant, beneficiary, disqualified person, or other person with respect to the plan, the relief affects time-sensitive actions such as:

  • applying for a funding waiver under Code Sec. 412(c) for a qualified defined benefit plan that is not a multiemployer plan;
  • for multiemployer defined benefit pension plans, actions due to be performed on or before the dates in Code Sec. 432(b)(3) for the certification of funded status and the notice to interested parties of that certification, Code Sec. 432(c)(1) and Code Sec. 432(e)(1) for the adoption of, and the notification to the bargaining parties of the schedules under a funding improvement plan or rehabilitation plan, or Code Sec. 432(c)(6) and Code Sec. 432(e)(3) for the annual update of a funding improvement plan and its contribution schedules, or rehabilitation plan and its contribution schedules, and the filing of those updates with the Form 5500 annual return; and
  • for cooperative and small employer charity pension (CSEC) plans, actions to be performed on or before the dates in Code Sec. 433(c)(9) for making a contribution required to be made for the plan year, Code Sec. 433(f)(3)(B) for making required quarterly installments, Code Sec. 433(j)(3) for the adoption of a funding restoration plan, or Code Sec. 433(j)(4) for the certification of funded status.

For filing Form 5330 (Return of Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefit Plans) and payment of the associated excise taxes, the period beginning on March 30, 2020, and ending on July 15, 2020, will be disregarded in calculating any interest or penalty for failure to file the Form 5330 or to pay the excise tax postponed under the relief. Interest and penalties with respect to such postponed filing and payment obligations will begin to accrue on July 16, 2020.

Additional relief related to qualified retirement plans affects:

  • extension of initial remedial amendment period for 403(b) plans (deadline is postponed to June 30, 2020);
  • certain actions affecting pre-approved defined benefit plans (deadline is postponed until July 31, 2020);
  • correction of plan failures under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS); and
  • requests for approval of a substitute mortality table.

Form 5498 series filers. For filers of Form 5498 (IRA Contribution Information), Form 5498-ESA (Coverdell ESA Contribution Information), and Form 5498-SA (HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA Information), the due date for filing and furnishing the forms is postponed to August 31, 2020, and the period beginning on the original due date of those forms and ending on August 31, 2020, will be disregarded in calculating any penalty for failure to file those forms. Penalties on the postponed filing will begin to accrue on September 1, 2020.

Source: IRS Notice 2020-35.

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