Tag Archives: Regs and guidance

Regulatory roundup

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

Pension plan limitations not affected by Tax Cut and Jobs Act
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 does not affect the tax year 2018 dollar limitations for retirement plans detailed in Notice 2017-64. The tax law provides dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans, and it requires the U.S. Department of the Treasury to annually adjust these limits for cost-of-living increases. Those adjustments are to be made using procedures that are similar to those used to adjust benefit amounts under the Social Security Act.

For more information, click here.

Approval with modifications on termination of single-employer plans and missing participants requested
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued a notice requesting that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve, with modifications, under the Paperwork Reduction Act a collection of information in PBGC’s regulations on Termination of Single Employer Plans and Missing Participants and implementing forms and instructions.

For more information, click here.

PBGC’s missing participants program now covers defined contribution plans

The recently released final rule from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) updating the agency’s regulations on missing participants in terminated single-employer defined benefit (DB) plans newly extends the program to retirement plans not previously covered. These plans include most defined contribution (DC) retirement plans (e.g., 401[k] and profit-sharing plans), PBGC-covered multiemployer pension plans (MEPPs), and small (25 or fewer participants) professional service organizations’ defined benefit plans.

The final rule, which will include a “unified unclaimed pension database,” applies to plans—other than MEPPs—that terminate on or after January 1, 2018, and gives DC plan sponsors the option to transfer the assets to the PBGC, rather than to establish individual retirement accounts at financial institutions for the missing participants. For terminating MEPPs, the rule applies to plans where the actual date of payment (i.e., plan close-out) is on or after January 1, 2018. This Client Action Bulletin provides some more perspective.

Regulatory roundup

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

IRS releases guidance on withholding rules for 2018
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has published Notice 2018-14 providing guidance on withholding rules. This notice extends the effective period of Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, furnished to claim exemption from income tax withholding under section 3402(n) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) for 2017 until February 28, 2018.

For more information, click here.

Nearly one in five workers had access to financial planning benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one-fifth of private industry workers were offered free or subsidized financial planning services from their employers in 2017. These services help employees make decisions about savings, borrowing, investing, home buying, education expenses, or retirement. While union and nonunion workers had similar rates of access to financial planning services, access varied based on size of establishment, wage level, and industry.

For more information, click here.

Regulatory roundup

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

Amendment for cash balance plan’s pre-conversion benefit granted
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a ruling, Private Letter Ruling 201803006, which states that the interest rate look-back month for a cash balance plan’s pre-conversion benefit can be amended.

For more information, click here.

Form 5500-EZ released
The IRS has released 2017 Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of One-Participant (Owners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan and its instructions.

Form 5500-EZ is available here. The form’s instructions are available here.

IRS reduces fees for qualified retirement plan sponsors to correct errors

For 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has significantly lowered the fees that most tax-qualified retirement plan sponsors must pay to correct errors under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System’s Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). The VCP’s new, lowered user fees are provided in Revenue Procedure 2018-4, and are based on plan assets and capped at $3,500. Previously, the fees were based on the number of plan participants and capped at $15,000. In addition, the fee covers all eligible errors and a single submission may cover multiple errors, but the reduced fees for streamlined filings (e.g., to correct minor errors such as loan or minimum distribution failures) no longer are available.

Small plans with 50 or fewer participants will experience an increase in costs, as previously the VCP user fees were $500 for 20 or fewer participants and $750 for 21 to 50 participants.

The fees effective for VCP applications mailed to the IRS on or after January 2, 2018, are:

Plan Assets Fees for 2018
$0 to $500,000 $1,500
Over $500,000 to $10,000,000 $3,000
Over $10,000,000 $3,500

The most recently filed Form 5500-series return (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan) is used to determine a plan’s net assets. Special rules apply to plan sponsors that are not required to file Form 5500, as well as for very small plans (e.g., SEPs, SARSEPs, SIMPLE IRAs). The new fee schedule does not apply to group VCP submissions, nor to “orphan” plans or 457(b) tax-deferred plans.

Reporting fees on Form 8951
The IRS is currently revising Form 8951, User Fee for Application for Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). Until a revised form is available, the IRS advises plan sponsors to:

• Continue using the current Form 8951 (rev. September 2016), ignoring the information on the form that suggests VCP fees are determined based upon the number of plan participants.
• Not check boxes on Lines 8(a) through 8(c) because they no longer apply.
• Attach a check for the fee amount specified in Rev. Proc. 2018-4, Appendix A.09.

For information about the new VCP fees and for assistance with assessing whether to proceed with VCP or other, possibly more appropriate correction programs, please contact your Milliman consultant.