Compliance

IRS Publishes List of Required Plan Amendments

The IRS noted that the fact that a change in a qualification requirement is included on the RA List does not mean that a plan must be amended as a result of that change.

By Rebecca Moore editors@assetinternational.com | December 14, 2016

In Notice 2016-80, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides the Required Amendments List for 2016 (2016 RA List).

In June, the IRS issues Revenue Procedure 2016-37, which eliminates, as of January 1, 2017, the five-year remedial amendment cycle system for individually designed plans that was set forth in Rev. Proc. 2007-44.

Section 9 of Rev. Proc. 2016-37 provides that the Department of the Treasury and the IRS intend to publish annually an RA List. 

In general, a change in qualification requirements will not appear on an RA List until guidance with respect to that change (including, in certain cases, model amendments) has been provided in regulations or in other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. However, in the discretion of the Treasury Department and the IRS, a change in qualification requirements may be included on an RA List in other circumstances, such as in cases in which a statutory change is enacted and the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate that no guidance will be issued.

The RA List is divided into two parts. Part A covers changes in qualification requirements that generally would require an amendment to most plans or to most plans of the type affected by the change. Part B includes changes in qualification requirements that the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate will not require amendments in most plans, but might require an amendment because of an unusual plan provision in a particular plan.

The IRS noted that the fact that a change in a qualification requirement is included on the RA List does not mean that a plan must be amended as a result of that change. Each plan sponsor must determine whether a particular change in a qualification requirement requires an amendment to its plan.

Pursuant to section 5.05(3) of Rev. Proc. 2016-37, the notice provides that December 31, 2018, is the last day of the remedial amendment period with respect to a disqualifying provision arising as a result of a change in qualification requirements that appears on the 2016 RA List. However, a later date may apply to a governmental plan.