Pension & Benefits News IRS regulatory agenda includes guidance on defined benefit plans, reporting and disclosure rules, and IRAs
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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

IRS regulatory agenda includes guidance on defined benefit plans, reporting and disclosure rules, and IRAs

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

The IRS has released its regulatory agenda for Fall 2019, which includes pension and benefit regulations that are currently under development or review.

Prerule stage. The IRS anticipates issuing regulations under Code Sec. 414(m) to define the term “affiliated service group,” including guidance on determining whether two or more separate service entities constitute an affiliated service group under Code Sec. 414(m) and whether two unrelated organizations are in a management-type affiliated service group under Code Sec. 414(m)(5).

Proposed rule stage. Among the items in the IRS’s proposed rule stage are:

  • Regulations regarding the measurement of income inclusion and calculation of applicable taxes under Code Sec. 409A for nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
  • Guidance relating to the determination of whether a plan is a governmental plan.
  • Guidance for nonqualified deferred compensation plans of State and local governments and tax-exempt entities relating to the definitions of a bona fide severance pay plan and substantial risk of forfeiture.
  • Additional guidance regarding the determination of plan assets and benefit liabilities for purposes of the funding requirements that apply to single-employer defined benefit plans, the use of certain funding balances maintained for those plans, and the benefit restrictions for certain underfunded defined benefit pension plans.
  • Guidance relating to IRAs under Code Secs. 408 and 408A.
  • Guidance relating to individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), including spousal IRAs, SEPs, and IRA technical changes.
  • Guidance on the requirement for plan administrators or employers to furnish an individual statement to participants who separate from service with a deferred vested benefit.
  • Rules relating to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).
  • Application of the Code Sec. 72(t) 10% additional tax to that portion of a distribution received by a taxpayer before attaining age 59 from a qualified retirement plan that is includible in the taxpayer’s gross income.
  • Regulations would lower the electronic-filing threshold for filing certain information returns as provided in the Taxpayer First Act of 2019, would eliminate the no-aggregation rule in determining the threshold for filing certain information returns electronically, and would require that corrected information returns be filed electronically, if the original information returns were required to be filed electronically.
  • Update to existing final minimum vesting standard regulations that generally apply to tax-qualified retirement plans under Code Sec. 411(a).
  • Guidance on the application of the nondiscrimination requirements, the backloading limitations, certain plan termination rules, the benefit limitations, and the top heavy rules to cash balance plans, pension equity plans, and variable annuity plans.
  • Regulations that would provide limited relief to a defined contribution multiple employer plan (MEP) in the event of a failure by one employer maintaining the plan to satisfy an applicable qualification requirement or to provide information needed to ensure compliance with a qualification requirement.
  • Regulations under Code Sec. 401(a)(9) will update the life expectancy and distribution period tables that apply for purposes of computing minimum required distributions from qualified retirement plans.

Final rule stage. The items in the IRS’s final rule stage include the following:

  • Guidance on satisfying the reporting requirements of Code Sec. 6057 for plan years beginning after December 31, 2008.
  • Modification to the rules regarding the minimum present value requirements applicable to certain qualified defined benefit plans in order to reflect statutory and other changes to the applicable requirements.
  • Application of normal retirement age regulations to governmental plans.
  • Amendment to modify the nondiscrimination requirements applicable to certain defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans that provide additional benefits to a grandfathered group of employees. The Treasury Department is considering whether it can achieve relevant statutory objectives at a lower cost.
  • Withholding on certain retirement plan distributions under Code Secs. 3405(a) and (b).
  • Modification of the rules relating to hardship distributions from 401(k) plans.

Source: The Unified Agenda for Fall 2019.

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