The Internal Revenue Service has announced that, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, its March 31, 2020, deadline for remedial amendments to section 403(b) plans has been extended to June 30, 2020.

Last year, the IRS issued guidance, in the form of Revenue Procedure 2019-39, establishing a series of remedial amendment periods for amendments to section 403(b) plan documents. The guidance, as updated by the recent IRS announcement:

  • Creates a remedial amendment period for each required change to a 403(b) plan document arising after June 30, 2020, that generally ends on the last day of the second calendar year following the year in which the change is effective or adopted (or when the change is published by the IRS on the Required Amendments List), whichever is later.
  • For example, if a required change to a non-governmental 403(b) plan is effective July 1, 2020, the 403(b) plan document must be amended to provide for the change by December 31, 2022.
  • For governmental 403(b) plans, the remedial amendment period may be extended to the third regular legislative session that begins after the calendar year in which the amendment is adopted or effective (or when the change is published by the IRS on the Required Amendments List), whichever is later.
  • Creates a remedial amendment period for each discretionary change to a 403(b) plan document arising after June 30, 2020, that generally ends on the last day of the plan year in which change is operationally effective. This is consistent with the remedial amendment period for tax-qualified retirement plans under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • For example, if a discretionary change to a non-governmental 403(b) plan is effective July 1, 2020, and the plan year runs from January 1 through December 31, the 403(b) plan document must be amended to provide for the change by December 31, 2020.
  • For governmental 403(b) plans, the remedial amendment period may be extended to the second regular legislative session that begins after the plan year in which the change is operationally effective.
  • Establishes a limited extension for required changes to 403(b) plan documents arising on or before June 30, 2020. For these changes, the remedial amendment period will end on the later of June 30, 2020, or the date set forth in the IRS guidance.
  • For example, if a required change to a non-governmental 403(b) plan is effective January 1, 2019, the 403(b) plan document must be amended to provide for the change by December 31, 2021. Prior to the new guidance, the remedial amendment period would have ended on June 30, 2020.
  • Provides that the Treasury Department and the IRS will include section 403(b) plan required changes in its annual Required Amendments List.
  • Provides for a process by which pre-approved prototype section 403(b) plans may be submitted to the IRS periodically to receive IRS opinion letters.

Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group assists a variety of clients with a wide range of needs, including compliance with IRS guidance affecting employee benefits.


Copyright © 2020 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
www.ballardspahr.com
(No claim to original U.S. government material.)

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the author and publisher.

This alert is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to notify recipients of new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own attorney concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.