Employee Benefits-IRS Solicits Comments On Facilitating Compliance with Qualified Plan Document Requirements

In Announcement 2016-32, in connection with the changes recently made to its determination letter program for qualified retirement plans, the IRS solicits comments on facilitating compliance with the requirements which apply to such plans. Here is what the IRS said:

This announcement requests comments on ways in which the Treasury Department and IRS can improve compliance with plan qualification requirements by making it easier for plan sponsors to satisfy requirements for qualified plan documents, particularly in light of the changes to the determination letter program described in Rev. Proc. 2016-37. That Rev. Proc. provides, in part, that the five-year staggered remedial amendment cycle system will be eliminated effective January 1, 2017. Rev. Proc. 2016-37 further provides that a sponsor of an individually designed plan will be permitted to submit a determination letter application only for initial qualification, for qualification upon plan termination, and in certain other circumstances to be determined by Treasury and the IRS.

In the Announcement, the IRS asks for comments on the following specific topics:

–incorporating plan qualification requirements by reference;

–circumstances under which plan provisions may not be required;

–conversion to pre-approved plans; and

–additional ways to facilitate compliance.

Information on how, where and when to submit the comments is also provided.