ARA Endorses Interim Amendment Process Improvements for Pre-Approved Plans


In a May 11th letter to the Director of the IRS Office of Employee Plans, the American Retirement Association suggested enhancements in the interim amendment process for pre-approved plan documents. The ARA indicates that the current guidelines for the interim amendments can be “confusing and inconsistent”, negatively affecting plan sponsors, mass submitters and document providers.  The letter notes the issue involving Section 401(a) pre-approved plans “because the interim amendment deadline is tied to the plan sponsor tax return due date, which varies by plan sponsor.”

Accordingly, the ARA advises the IRS and the Treasury Department embrace an interim amendment tactic for 401(a) pre-approved and 403(b) pre-approved plans congruent or similar to that taken for plan amendment for 401(a) individually-designed plans. Per the ARA, interim amendment for pre-approved plans should not be mandatory until the commencement of the second calendar year that launches after the issuance of the Required Amendments List in which the transformation in qualification requirements is unearthed.

The ARA insists this counsel offers a judicious, uniform interim amendment deadline for all plan types, including:

  • 401(a) pre-approved plans, including DC and DB plans;
  • 403(b) pre-approved plans; and
  • 401(a) and 403(b) individually-designed plans.

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