ERISA Pre-Approved and Customized Benefit Plans: Overhauled IRS Procedures and Determination Letter Process

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will discuss the IRS’ changes to its determination letter process limiting the ability of employers with customized benefits plans to obtain a determination letter, and new procedures for employers to ensure their plans maintain their tax-exempt status. The program will also discuss newly revised IRS procedures for reviewing and approving “pre-approved” retirement plans. Finally, the program will provide guidance to employers seeking to transition from customized to pre-approved plans.

Description

In 2016 the IRS changed the determination letter process to substantially limit employers with customized benefits plans to receive a determination letter on its ongoing plan. Rev. Prov. 2016-37 became effective January 1, 2017. Employers with customized plans must now annually review the IRS’s Required Amendment List. The Service also indicated to plan sponsors that it intends to periodically issue the Operational Compliance List to assist employers in the maintenance of qualified status and compliance.

The removal of the routine determination letter application process and resulting protection has led some employers with customized plans to consider shifting to pre-approved plans. In fact, the IRS is actually encouraging employers to make that transition. In Revenue Procedure 2017-41, the IRS revised the procedures it uses to review and approve “pre-approved” retirement plans in an effort to streamline the process and liberalize the types of plans that will qualify as pre-approved.

Employers with customized plans need to assess whether it is more beneficial to transition to a pre-approved plan. If not, then they need to follow new steps to ensure they are in compliance with IRS rules --- assurance that is needed now that the IRS determination letter protection is not routinely available. Employers with pre-approved plans still need to be aware of the Service's change in pre-approval protocols, especially if they have at all considered adopting a customized plan.

Listen as our authoritative panel of ERISA attorneys analyzes changes to the IRS determination letter process limiting ability of employers with customized benefits plans to receive a determination letter. The panel will review the newly revised IRS procedures for reviewing and approving “pre-approved” retirement plans, and provide guidance to employers seeking to transition from customize to pre-approved plans.

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Outline

  1. Revenue Procedure 2016-37
    1. New procedures for employer with customized plans
    2. Limited circumstances to obtain a determination letter from the IRS
    3. IRS Operational Compliance List
  2. Revenue Procedure 2017-41
    1. New procedures for IRS to review and approve “pre-approved” retirement plans
    2. Expansion of types of plans and plan options that will now qualify as pre-approved
  3. Considerations for employers transitioning from customized to pre-approved plans

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Revenue Procedure 2016-37: Changes to determination letter process
  • Revenue Procedure 2017-41: New procedures for IRS review and approval of “pre-approved” retirement plans
  • Guidance for employers transitioning from customized to pre-approved plans

Faculty

Nolt, Kevin
Kevin E. Nolt

Director
Trucker Huss

Mr. Nolt focuses his practice primarily on qualified retirement plans, including defined benefit and defined...  |  Read More

Trenda, Carolyn
Carolyn M. Trenda

Counsel
McGuireWoods

Ms. Trenda regularly advises public, private and non-profit employers on a range of employee benefits topics. She...  |  Read More

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48 hours after event

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48 hours after event

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