Tag Archives: IRS

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

IRS issues new process for information document requests regarding retirement plan audits
The Commissioner for the IRS’ Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) issued a memorandum containing new procedures for all TE/GE examiners on Information Document Requests (IDR). The IRS in the past had been flexible with the extension of response deadlines for document requests as long as the examiner views the sponsor as acting in good faith, especially once a professional becomes involved in the process.

This new memorandum takes flexibility out of the manner in which the IRS collects plan and employer information to conduct an audit. These new rules center on the timing of the IDRs, which are central to an audit.

To learn more, click here.

GAO publishes survey on 401(k) plans
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued “401(K) plans – effects of eligibility and vesting policies on workers’ retirement savings” (GAO-17-69). The publication is a non-generalizable survey of 80 401(k) plans ranging in size from fewer than 100 participants to more than 5,000. The GAO found that many plans have policies that affect workers’ ability to (1) save in plans (eligibility policies), (2) receive employer contributions, and (3) keep those employer contributions if they leave their job (vesting policies).

To download a copy of the entire publication, click here.

Proposed rule issued regarding minimum present value requirements for DB plan distributions
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filed a proposed rule providing guidance on changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) relating to the minimum present value requirements applicable to certain defined benefit (DB) pension plans. These proposed regulations would amend the current final regulations under section 417(e) regarding the minimum present value requirements of section 417(e)(3) in several areas. Specifically, the proposed regulations would update the regulations for changes made by PPA and eliminate certain obsolete provisions. The proposed regulations also contain a few other clarifying changes.

To read the entire proposed rule, click here.

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

Revised favorable determination letter publication
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a revised version of Publication 794, “Favorable determination letter.” The publication explains the significance of a favorable determination letter, points out some features that may affect the qualified status of an employee retirement plan and nullify the determination letter without specific notice from the IRS, and provides general information on the reporting requirements for the plan.

To download the entire publication, click here.

PBGC final rule – Appendix D to Part 4044 amended with Table I-17
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued a final rule amending Appendix D to Part 4044 with Table 1-17 for determining expected retirement ages for participants in pension plans undergoing distress or involuntary termination with valuation dates falling in 2016.

To read the entire final rule, click here.

Booklet on automatic enrollment in 401(k) plans
The IRS and the Department of Labor (DoL) released “Automatic enrollment 401(k) plans,” which provides an overview of the defined contribution plan feature. The publication contains a checklist to assist an employer when establishing an automatic enrollment.

To download the entire publication, click here.

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

IRS memorandum on matching contributions related to NQDC plans
The IRS released a memorandum from the Office of Chief Counsel which concludes that the salary that an employee has elected to defer under a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan is subject to a “substantial risk of forfeiture” if the employer provides a 25 percent matching contribution.

To read the entire memo, click here.

FASB issues proposed taxonomy implementation guide on retirement benefits
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) published the document “Proposed taxonomy implementation guide” (Version 1.0) related to the proposed 2017 U.S. GAAP Financial Reporting Taxonomy. The purpose of the proposed guide is to demonstrate the modeling of disclosures related to retirement benefits.

To download a copy of the entire guide, click here.

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

IRS releases guidance on pension equity plans
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-67, which describes the applicability of the market rate of return limitation rules to defined benefit plans expressing a participant’s accumulated benefit as the current value of an accumulated percentage of the participant’s final average compensation, highest average compensation, or highest average compensation during a limited period of years (a type of plan often referred to as a “pension equity plan” or “PEP”).

To read the entire notice, click here.

Agencies release advance informational copies of the 2016 Form 5500
The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL), the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released advance informational copies of the 2016 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions.

For more information, click here.

COLAs for retirement, Social Security, and health benefits for 2017

With the release of the September 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced cost-of-living adjusted figures for Social Security and retirement plan benefits, respectively, for 2017. The 2017 adjusted figures for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) included in this Client Action Bulletin were released by the IRS earlier this year and are provided here for convenience.

Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

IRS announces pension plan limits for 2017
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2017. The IRS issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2016-62.

For more information, click here.

Private pension plan bulletin abstract of 2014 Form 5500 annual report
The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) published its Private Pension Plan Bulletin featuring highlights from the 2014 Form 5500 report. Over the past four decades, as the U.S. private pension system has shifted from defined benefit (DB) plans toward defined contribution (DC) plans, often 401(k) type DC plans, the financing of retirement benefits has shifted from employers to participants. In 1978, when legislation was enacted authorizing 401(k) type plans that allow employees to contribute to their own retirement plan on a pretax basis, participants made 29% of the contributions to DC plans and only 11% of total contributions to all DB and DC pension plans. In the years following 1978, employee contributions to DC plans steadily rose to a peak of approximately 60% in 1999, where it has remained. Other findings from Form 5500 series reports for 2014 plan years are summarized in the bulletin.

To download the bulletin, click here.

PBGC announces guarantee limit for 2017
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced that, as a result of the indexing rules provided in ERISA, the guarantee limits for single-employer plans that fail in 2017 will be 7.1% higher than the limits that applied for 2015 and 2016. A table showing the single-employer plan guarantee limits for various ages and payment forms is available on the PBGC’s website. The guarantee limits for multiemployer plans are not indexed and therefore have not changed.

To view the maximum monthly guarantee tables, click here.
For more information on multiemployer benefit guarantees, click here.