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PLAN DOCUMENT - MANDATORY AMENDMENTS & RESTATEMENTS

From time-to-time, all qualified retirement plans are required to be updated to reflect recent legislative and/or regulatory changes.  Some of these updates are made through plan amendments, but others require plan documents to be completely re-written (a process known as 'restating' the plan).

The deadlines for adopting these updates are usually dependent on the type of plan and plan document.  For example, a defined contribution plan, e.g. a 401(k) plan or profit sharing plan, using a prototype document must generally be restated every 6 years.  Alternatively, a DC plan using an individually designed plan must generally be restated every 5 years.  Amendments may still be required in between these mandatory restatements.

Regardless of the type of plan/plan document or the service-providers involved, plan sponsors are required to maintain fully executed copies of all plan documents, amendments and restatements since the inception of the plan. If your plan is audited by the Internal Revenue Service, they will ask to see signed plan documents and will review to make sure they are up to date for all required remedial amendments.  If you did not timely adopt a required update or you are unable to locate a signed copy, the IRS offers a voluntary correction program that allows you bring your plan document back into compliance for a fee that is much lower than the penalties that could otherwise be imposed.

The following is a list of the various amendments and restatements that have been required since 2003, beginning with the most recent and working backwards.  The deadlines shown apply to defined conbtributions plans using either prototype or volume submitter plan documents.  Different deadlines apply to defined benefit plans as well as DC plans uisng individually designed documents.

 

PPA Restatement
Description: Full plan restatement for legislation and regulations from the final 415 regulations through WRERA.
Effective Date: Various
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: May 1, 2014 - April 30, 2016 (exact dates to be determined by IRS)
Citation: IRS Announcement 2014-16

 

WRERA Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment covering provisions from the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 including elimination of gap-period income on refunds of excess deferrals and optional provisions related to automatic contribution arrangements, waiver of 2009 RMDs and PPA technical corrections
Effective Date: Various
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: Last day of the 2011 plan year (December 31, 2011 for calendar year plans)
Citation: IRS Notice 2009-82

 

HEART Act Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment covering provisions from the Heroes' Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 including quailed plan rights of those serving in the military, including death/disability benefits and treatment of differential wage payments
Effective Date: Various
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: Last day of the 2010 plan year (December 31, 2010 for calendar year plans)
Citation: IRS Notice 2010-15

 

EGTRRA Restatement
Description: Full plan restatement for legislation and regulations from EGTRRA through the final 402(g) regulations
Effective Date: Various
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: April 30, 2010
Citation: IRS Announcement 2008-23

 

PPA Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment covering provisions from the Pension Protection Act of 2006 such as automatic enrollment, non-spouse beneficiary rollovers, accelerated vesting
Effective Date: Various
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: Last day of the 2009 plan year (December 31, 2009)
Citation: PPA §1107, IRS Employee Plan News [Spring 2007 edition]

 

Final 415 Regulations Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment for the final 415 regulations including updating definition of compensation with regard to post-severance compensation
Effective Date: Limitation years beginning on or after July 1, 2007
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: Deadline (with extensions) for filing the tax return for the first year in which the regulations are effective (September 15, 2008)
Citation: IRS Revenue Procedure 2005-66

 

Final 402(g) Regulations Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment to require the distribution of gap-period income on refunds of excess deferrals
Effective Date: Plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2007
Required For: All qualified plans with pre or post-tax employee salary deferrals
Due Date: Deadline (with extensions) for filing the 2007 tax return (September 15, 2008)
Citation: IRS Revenue Procedure 2005-66

 

Final 401(k)/(m) Regulations Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment for the final 401(k)/(m) regulations including the modification of bottom-up QNECs, removal of supplemental matching allocation requirements in safe-harbor plans
Effective Date: Plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2006
Required For: All qualified plans with pre or post-tax employee salary deferrals and/or employer matching contributions
Due Date: If adopted prior to the 2006 plan year, the last day of the plan year adopted.  Otherwise the deadline (with extensions) for filing the 2006 tax return.  Recommended to be adopted by the end of the 2006 plan year to avoid potential 411(d)(6) violations (December 31, 2006)
Citation: IRS Revenue Procedure 2005-66

 

Mandatory Distribution Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment for the automatic rollover regulations
Effective Date: March 28, 2005
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: Later of the end of the plan year including the effective date, December 31, 2005 or the deadline (with extensions) for filing the tax return for the year including the effective date  (September 15, 2006 for calendar year sponsors)
Citation: IRS Notice 2005-85

 

401(a)(9) Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment for the final minimum distribution regulations.  May be included in a more comprehensive post-EGTRRA amendment
Effective Date: Minimum distributions for the 2002 calendar year
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: Last day of the 2003 plan year (December 31, 2003 for calendar year plans)
Citation: IRS Revenue Procedure 2002-29

 

Deemed 125 Compensation Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment to include deemed compensation from certain section 125 plans.  May be included in a more comprehensive post-EGTRRA amendment
Effective Date: Limitation years beginning on or after January 1, 1998
Required For: All qualified plans of employers sponsoring a cafeteria plan in which employees can elect cash in lieu of health coverage only if proof of other coverage is furnished
Due Date: Close of the GUST remedial amendment period, i.e. September 30, 2003
Citation: IRS Revenue Ruling 2002-27

 

EGTRRA Amendment
Description: Good-faith amendment for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 covering provisions such as catch-up contributions, reduced hardship suspension, increased contribution limits
Effective Date: Generally effective January 1, 2002
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: Later of the end of the 2002 plan year or the GUST remedial amendment period, i.e. September 30, 2003
Citation: IRS Notice 2001-42

 

GUST Restatement
Description: Full plan restatement for GATT (1993), USERRA (1994), SPJPA (1996), TRA (1997).  Includes provisions for current/prior year testing, top-paid group election, safe-harbor
Effective Date: Various
Required For: All qualified plans
Due Date: September 30, 2003
Citation: IRS Revenue Procedure 2002-73

 

 
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