The Internal Revenue Service is easing spousal notarization and plan representative witness prerequisites this year for retirement plan elections in IRS Notice 2020-42. The notice discusses the physical presence condition for notarization or witnessing specific plan elections and offers temporary relief for remote notarization.
From January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, the IRS provides temporary relief from the physical presence requirement for a “participant election” that I witness by either a notary public or a plan representative. A “participant election” encompasses any request, consent, election, communication, or agreement executed by or from a participant, alternate payee, or beneficiary. Nonetheless, the relief package includes specific requirements that must be met.
For an election obligated to be overseen by a notary, the physical presence prerequisite is deemed fulfilled for an electronic system that utilizes remote notarization if performed via live-audio technology, provided that the structure observes state law requirements for notary publics. This relief applies to elections such as COVID-19 distributions, spousal consent to distribution from a plan subject to qualified joint and survivor annuity conditions, retirement plan loan application. What’s more, the relief applies solely to eligible retirement plan elections, not any other kinds of benefits like health and welfare plans.
If you are interested in becoming a notary public, you may be required to obtain a notary bond. Colonial Surety Company offers an easy way to secure your bond online from your desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Our I-Bonds®, or instant surety bonds, are available for instant quote, purchase, print, or e-file. We offer a direct and digital way to obtain a one. Get a notary bond quote online, fill out your information, and enter your payment method. It’s that easy! Click here to obtain your notary bond today.