More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.
IRS issues guidance expanding preapproved determination letter program
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Revenue Procedure 2015-36, which expands the scope of the preapproved program to include defined benefit plans containing cash balance features and defined contribution plans containing employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) features and extends the deadline for submitting on-cycle applications for opinion and advisory letters for preapproved defined benefit plans to October 30, 2015.
In addition, this revenue procedure updates Rev. Proc. 2011-49 to reflect changes made to the determination letter program in 2012. Rev. Proc. 2011-49 is superseded.
Revenue Procedure 2015-36 will appear in IRB 2015-25 dated June 22, 2015.
To read the entire Revenue Procedure, click here.
SSA issues final rule on 60-month period of employment requirement for government pension offset exemption
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a final rule that adopts, with clarifying changes, the proposed rule previously published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2007. This final rule revises the SSA’s Government Pension Offset (GPO) regulations to reflect changes to the Social Security Act (Act) made by section 9007 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987) and Section 418 of the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (SSPA). These regulations explain how and when the SSA will reduce the Social Security spouse’s benefit for some people who receive federal, state, or local government pensions if Social Security did not cover their government work.
To read the entire final rule, click here.
IRS updates listing of required modifications for cash balance and employee stock ownership plans
The IRS has published a collection of information packages designed to assist sponsors who are drafting or redrafting plans to conform with applicable law and regulations related to cash balance and employee stock ownership plans.
Document release: ERISA Form 8955-SSA, 2-D Barcode Standards
This document covers only the 2D barcode on ERISA Form 8955-SSA, valid for plan years 2009 to 2011. The 2D barcode is intended to represent the information on the paper form. Barcodes for this form are generated from two sources:
- The IRS Form 8955-SSA Fill-able PDF produces a barcode after printing the form in Adobe.
- The approved software vendors for Form 8955-SSA produce a barcode when printing their forms from their software packages.
To read the entire document, click here.
IRS explanation, worksheet (alert guidelines), and deficiency check sheets
The IRS has issued three explanations, worksheets (alert guidelines), and deficiency check sheets:
IRS posts nonqualified deferred compensation audit techniques guide
The IRS has posted a guide on nonqualified deferred compensation audit techniques. The guide provides:
- An overview
- Audit potential
- Compliance focus
- General audit steps
To access the guide, click here.
IRS issues latest Employee Plans News
The IRS has issued the June 10, 2015, edition of its newsletter Employee Plans News. The latest edition contains the following content:
- Preapproved plan program expanded to include cash balance plans and ESOPs
- Sample plan language (listings of required modifications) for ESOPs, and cash balance and 403(b) plans
- Guidance for permanent program for late 5500EZ filers
- IRS Nationwide Tax Forums begin in July
- Changes to Forms 5500 for 2014
- IRS names seven new members to Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) panel
- Updated Voluntary Correction Program fee chart
To read the newsletter, click here.
IRS updates 403(b) fix-it guide
The IRS has updated its 403(b) Plan Fix-It Guide. The document contains charts and explanations that address potential issues in plan administration. It includes how to find, fix, and avoid common plan errors, with hypertext links to online forms and guidance.
To access the fix-it guide, click here.