What Is New In 2014 For 403(b) Plans?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that plan sponsors restate qualified retirement plans every few years to incorporate changes in the law and discretionary amendments that occurred since the last restatement.  Pre-approved prototype and volume submitter defined contribution plans have a 6-year restatement cycle meaning that these plans must be restated every 6 years.  During the 6 year restatement cycle, the IRS gives plan sponsors a window of time, typically 2 years to restate the plan document.

Has The Restatement Cycle for Pre-Approved 403(b) Plan Documents Started?

Yes.  It started on June 28, 2013, when the IRS began accepting applications for opinion and advisory letters for prototype and volume submitter plans reflecting changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) and subsequent legislation.  This application submission period will end on April 30, 2014.  After the submission period ends, the IRS will begin reviewing the plan documents submitted with the applications.  Once the IRS completes its review and approves the plan documents, it will issue opinion and advisory letters and announce the deadline for employers to adopt the pre-approved plan documents.

When Will The IRS Issue The Opinion and Advisory Letters and Announce the Deadline to Restate Plan Documents?

Based on prior restatement experience, IRS will not issue opinion and advisory letters until at least 1 year after the submission period ends.  In this case, with the submission period ending on April 30, 2014, it is likely that the IRS will issue opinion and advisory letters in early 2015.

How Long After IRS Issues The Letters Will Sponsors Have To Restate Their Plan Documents?

Once IRS approves the pre-approved plan documents and issues opinion and advisory letters, plan sponsors will be given approximately 2 years to adopt the pre-approved documents.

How Will Plan Sponsors Know To Begin Restating Their Plan Documents?

For those plan sponsors using pre-approved prototype or volume submitter 403(b) plan documents, Carroll Consultants, Ltd. will send communication letting you know that we are starting the restatement process. The communication will ask you to indicate whether you would like Carroll Consultants, Ltd. to restate your current plan document and whether you have any additional administrative changes you wish to make to your document during the restatement process.

Founded in the 1950s, Carroll Consultants, Ltd. has experienced professionals with a wealth of knowledge about retirement plans. If you have any questions about this article or our services, please contact Marcie Carroll, at mcarroll@cclbenefits.com, or (610) 225-1210.