The Regulatory Agenda for 2017 Remains Packed

Beyond the ongoing fiduciary rule RFI process, the DOL also has slated for this month an interim final rule about an amendment to its Abandoned Plan Program.

By Rebecca Moore | August 03, 2017
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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the Trump Administration's Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which provides an updated report on the actions administrative agencies plan to issue in the near and long term.

Among rules the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lists as planning to issue in 2017 are those regarding the definition of governmental plan and rules related to retirement plans of Indian Tribal Governments. An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) was issued for both of these rules in 2011, and while the IRS held a comment period and public hearings, nothing has been issued since then.                     

Also on the IRS’ list are rules and guidance for which it still plans to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The agency says it plans in 2017 to issue additional guidance regarding the determination of plan assets and benefit liabilities for purposes of the funding requirements that apply to single employer defined benefit (DB) plans, the use of certain funding balances maintained for those plans, and the benefit restrictions for certain underfunded DB plans.

In addition, the IRS plans to issue proposed regulations that would provide guidance on the requirement for plan administrators or employers to furnish an individual statement to participants who separate from service with a deferred vested benefit, as well as proposed regulations that would provide an update to existing final vesting regulations that generally apply to tax qualified retirement plans under section 411(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and 29 U.S.C. 1053 and 1054.

The IRS’ regulatory agenda for 2017 also lists a NPRM for requirements for employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). And, no doubt, the agency is awaiting action in Congress for proposed regulations on the excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage under section 4980(I), enacted by the Affordable Care Act.

NEXT: DOL and PBGC agendas