The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan, listing projects the agencies hope to complete during the twelve-month period from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018.
Among its list for retirement plans are projects for which guidance has been long-awaited from the agencies. For example, final regulations on the application of the normal retirement age regulations under §401(a) to governmental plans. Proposed regulations were published on January 27, 2016. In addition, the agencies hope to issue regulations on the definition of governmental plans under Internal Revenue Code Section 414(d). An advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) was published on November 8, 2011.
The guidance plan also includes final regulations regarding qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) and qualified matching contributions (QMACs). Proposed regulations were published on January 18, 2017. The agencies also hope to issue final regulations under Section 417(e) that update the minimum present value requirements for defined benefit (DB) plans. Proposed regulations were published on November 25, 2016.
Other items on the agencies’ Priority Guidance Plan include:
- Revenue procedures relating to approval for funding method changes;
- Regulations updating rules applicable to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs);
- Guidance under Section 401(a)(9) on the use of lump sum payments to replace lifetime income being received by retirees under DB plans;
- Guidance updating regulations for service credit and vesting under Section 411;
- Guidance on the treatment of future interest credits and annuity conversion factors under a hybrid DB plan and adjustments under a variable annuity plan for purposes of satisfying certain qualification requirements;
- Guidance related to church plans;
- Additional guidance on issues relating to lifetime income from retirement plans and IRAs;
- Revenue procedure modifying the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) to provide guidance with regard to certain corrections; and
- Guidance on missing participants.
The 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan is here.