IRS Will Amend Interest Crediting Rules for Hybrid Plans

The Treasury Department and the IRS intend to postpone the effective/applicability date regarding special rules for statutory hybrid plans, relating to interest crediting rates under a cash balance or other statutory hybrid plan.

The notice also extends the deadline for adopting an interim or discretionary plan amendment under § 411(a)(13) (other than § 411(a)(13)(A)) and § 411(b)(5). 

The Service’s review of an application for a determination letter submitted to the Service between February 1, 2011, and January 31, 2012, will not consider the final regulations under § 411(a)(13) (other than with respect to § 411(a)(13)(A)) and § 411(b)(5) unless the plan has been amended to satisfy those regulations.  

According to the Notice, in Announcement 2009-82, 2009-48 I.R.B. 720, the Treasury Department and the Service announced their intent to provide a special timing rule for providing section 204(h) notice (as defined in § 54.4980F-1, A-4(a) of the Excise Tax Regulations) for certain amendments to change the interest crediting rate under a statutory hybrid plan. The special timing rule only applies to amendments that were adopted after November 10, 2009, and on or before the last day of the first plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2009. Notice 2011-85 formally provides the special timing rule described in Announcement 2009-82.  

Notice 2011-85 is here,  and will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2011-44 on  October 31, 2011.  

The IRS previously said that developing final regulations on acceptable ways that employers can add interest to employees’ cash balance pension plan accounts is a priority (see “IRS to Focus on Cash Balance Interest Credit Rules“).