Request for comments, facilitating compliance for qualified plan document requirements

Request for comments, qualified plan document

The IRS today released an advance version of Announcement 2016-32 that includes a request for comments on ways in which the IRS and Treasury Department can improve compliance with plan qualification requirements by making it easier for plan sponsors to satisfy requirements for qualified plan documents, particularly in light of the changes to the determination letter program described in Rev. Proc. 2016-37.

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Rev. Proc. 2016-37 provides, in part, that the five-year staggered remedial amendment cycle system will be eliminated effective January 1, 2017, and that a sponsor of an individually designed plan will be permitted to submit a determination letter application only for initial qualification, for qualification upon plan termination, and in certain other circumstances to be determined by the IRS and Treasury.

Announcement 2016-32 [PDF 17 KB] includes requests for comments concerning the following topics:

  • Incorporation by reference 
  • Circumstances under which plan provisions may not be required
  • Conversion to pre-approved plans
  • Additional ways to facilitate compliance

Comments may be submitted in writing on or before December 15, 2016. 

Future guidance to be issued

Today’s announcement further states that the IRS and Treasury anticipate issuing a revenue procedure “shortly” that will modify Rev. Proc. 2013-12—the existing consolidated statement of the correction programs under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). The new EPCRS revenue procedure is expected to modify EPCRS to accommodate changes to the determination letter program made by Rev. Proc. 2016-37 and is expected to invite comments on the modifications.

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