Employee Benefits-IRS Issues 2011 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has issued Notice 2011-97. This Notice contains the 2011 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements (the “2011 Cumulative List”), described in section 4 of Rev. Proc. 2007-44. According to the Notice, the 2011 Cumulative List contains a list of the changes to plan qualification requirements, and is to be used by plan sponsors and practitioners submitting determination letter applications for plans during the period beginning February 1, 2012 and ending January 31, 2013. These plans will primarily be single employer individually designed defined contribution plans, including employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), single employer individually designed defined benefit plans, and multiple employer individually designed plans that are in Cycle B. Generally, an individually designed plan is in Cycle B if the last digit of the employer identification number of the plan sponsor is 2 or 7.

The Notice reminds us that the list of changes in the Notice does not extend the deadline by which a plan must be amended to comply with any statutory, regulatory, or guidance changes. The general deadline for timely adoption of an interim or discretionary amendment can be found in section 5.05 of Rev. Proc. 2007-44.