In Notice 2014-77, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided the 2014 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements to be used by plan sponsors and practitioners submitting determination letter applications for plans during the period beginning February 1, 2015, and ending January 31, 2016.
Plans using this Cumulative List will primarily be single employer individually designed defined contribution plans and single employer individually designed defined benefit plans that are in Cycle E. Generally, an individually designed plan is in Cycle E if the last digit of the employer identification number of the plan sponsor is 5 or 0, or if the plan is a § 414(d) governmental plan (including governmental multiemployer or governmental multiple employer plans) for which an election has been made by the plan sponsor to treat Cycle E as the second remedial amendment cycle for the plan.
In addition, in Announcement 2014-41, the IRS has extended to June 30, 2015, the deadline for submitting on-cycle applications for opinion and advisory letters for pre-approved defined benefit plans for the plans’ second six-year remedial amendment cycle. This announcement also provides a two-day extension (from Saturday, January 31, 2015, to Monday, February 2, 2015) for Cycle D on-cycle submissions (primarily individually designed plans including multiemployer plans).
The extension to June 30, 2015, applies to pre-approved defined benefit mass submitter lead and specimen plans, word-for-word identical plans, master and prototype minor modifier placeholder applications, and defined benefit non-mass submitter lead and specimen plans. The submission period for these applications is scheduled to expire on February 2, 2015.
This extension applies to all on-cycle pre-approved defined benefit plan submissions. In general, plans submitted in accordance with this extension will continue to be reviewed for qualification items based on the 2012 Cumulative List.
The IRS also said it expects to modify Revenue Procedure 2011-49 to expand the preapproved program to include defined benefit plans containing cash balance features and defined contribution plans containing employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) features. In addition, the IRS is developing tools, which will be available before June 30, 2015, to assist plan sponsors in drafting these plans.