Final 403(b) Regulations: Countdown to 12/31/09 Compliance

Preparing Retirement Plan Sponsors for New Testing, Documentation and Audit Requirements

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

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Conducted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Course Materials

This seminar will review the key requirements of the final 403(b) regulations, the impact of the new DOL transition relief on upcoming documentation and audit requirements, and steps plan sponsors must take to ensure compliance with 403(b).


The 403(b) final regulations, effective Jan. 1, 2009, impose sweeping new requirements on sponsors of tax-sheltered employee retirement plans. These plans are typically maintained by non-profit organizations, including hospitals, universities, foundations and charities.

Significantly, retirement plan sponsors must adopt written plan documents that satisfy the requirements of 403(b) and contain all material terms regarding conditions of eligibility and benefits under the plan. Developing this comprehensive document will require extensive planning by legal counsel.

Newly issued Department of Labor (DOL) guidance and transition relief may assist sponsors with meeting their reporting obligations. Sponsors of 403(b) plans must immediately review the guidance with their counsel as they prepare to file Form 5500 for the 2009 plan year.

Listen as our panel of employee benefits attorneys explains the key requirements of 403(b), the impact of the new DOL transition relief on upcoming documentation and audit requirements, and steps plan sponsors should take now to ensure compliance with the new regulations.



  1. Key requirements of 403(b) regulations
    1. Create a written plan document by Dec. 31, 2009
    2. Maximum contributions
    3. Hardship distributions
    4. Elective deferral transfers
    5. Universal Availability
    6. Withdrawals
    7. Contract exchanges
    8. Audit requirements
  2. New Department of Labor Form 5500 transition relief and guidance—benefits and limitations
  3. Compliance strategies
    1. Review plan eligibility requirements to ensure compliance with Universal Availability rule
    2. Review/change written plan documents
    3. Review agreements with vendors to determine whether new information-sharing agreements are needed
    4. Determine whether the plan must undergo an audit and begin preparing
    5. Fiduciary liability issues


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What key changes do the final 403(b) regulations make to the administration of plans?
  • How does the new DOL transition relief make the Form 5500 filing and audit report processes less burdensome for 403(b) plan sponsors?
  • What are some best practices plan sponsors should implement immediately to avoid ERISA compliance pitfalls when administering 403(b) plans?


Jonathan J. Boyles
Jonathan J. Boyles

McDermott Will & Emery

He is a member of the Employee Benefits Department. He was previously the chief in-house counsel to a...  |  Read More

Louis F. Librandi
Louis F. Librandi

Principal, Employee Benefit Services Group
O'Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins

He was previously Director of the Compensation and Benefits Advisory Services Practice at a law firm and was...  |  Read More

Philip J. Castrogiovanni
Philip J. Castrogiovanni

McDermott Will & Emery

He is a member of the Health Law Department and advises clients on matters pertaining to executive compensation,...  |  Read More

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