IRS Updates Compliance Resolution System

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated and expanded its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS).

Revenue Procedure 2013-12, released December 31, 2012, modifies and supercedes Revenue Procedure 2008-50. Significant changes to the EPCRS include: 

  • Expanded corrections for 403(b) plan failures; 
  • Revised submission procedures for the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP); 
  • Rules for plans subject to section 436 restrictions; and 
  • Changes to safe harbor correction methods and fee structures. 

Section 403(b) plan sponsors can now correct failures arising from noncompliance with the form and operational requirements of the 403(b) final regulations and other guidance issued by the IRS. The changes generally permit 403(b) plan sponsors to correct failures affecting their plans in the same manner as a qualified plan with the same failure. A plan sponsor may use the VCP to correct a failure to timely adopt a written 403(b) plan. Plans can correct this failure using new Appendix C and Schedule 2.  

As of August 31, 2012, the IRS letter Forwarding Program is no longer available as a search method for locating lost plan participants who are owed additional retirement benefits. (See “IRS Stops Forwarding Letters for Missing Participants.”) The new procedure revises the reasonable actions that a plan sponsor must take to locate lost plan participants who are owed additional retirement benefits. It provides a limited extension of the self-correction program (SCP) correction period and the VCP 150-day correction period for certain plan sponsors taking action to locate lost participants.



Appendix A now includes consistent safe harbor correction methods for certain missed deferrals in 403(b), SIMPLE IRA and safe harbor 401(k) plans. (See “Groups Recommend Correction for Auto Enrollment Failures.”)

Section 436-restricted defined benefit plans can correct operational failures related to noncompliance with applicable IRC section 436 restrictions. (See “DB Sponsors Must Make Key Decisions by Dec. 31.”) Plan sponsors also need to consider the effect of section 436 restrictions when making corrective distributions and/or corrective plan amendments. Plan sponsors may be required to make an additional corrective contribution. 

A very limited expansion of correction for section 457(b) plans sponsored by tax-exempt entities was added.  

The procedure is generally effective April 1, 2013, but plan sponsors may elect to apply provisions on or after December 31, 2012. Forms will be available soon. For 403(b) plan failures that occurred prior to January 1, 2009, plans must use the definitions in Revenue Procedure 2008-50 to determine which failures may be resolved with the EPCRS.  

More information is here.