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457(b) Plan Submissions to Voluntary Compliance

Some plan sponsors, under limited circumstances, may submit requests for voluntary correction to the IRS for their Code Section 457(b) retirement plans (Revenue Procedure 2013-12, Section 4.09). The IRS Employee Plans Voluntary Compliance (VC) team will consider these requests on a provisional basis outside of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). VC retains complete discretion to accept or reject these requests. If accepted, VC will issue a special closing agreement. VC will not consider any issue relating to the form of a written 457(b) plan document. Also, governmental plan sponsors do not have to make a submission to VC to voluntarily fix problems with their 457(b) plans.

Voluntary Compliance will not process submissions that involve the form of the written 457(b) plan

We have received several submissions alleging that a written 457(b) plan was not timely adopted, or amended for some tax law or income tax regulation. VC will not issue closing agreements for these matters and will decline to process these requests and refund any payments. Plan sponsors are reminded that the remedial amendment concepts and definitions in Revenue Procedure 2007-44 do not apply to 457(b) retirement plans.

Plan sponsors who want the IRS to review their 457(b) plan document or consider any other document form issue may request a private letter ruling. See Revenue Procedure 2015-1 (or annual successor revenue procedure) for details.

Governmental plan sponsors can self-correct

Governmental plan sponsors may self-correct their 457(b) plans if they did not comply with the Code or regulations. Governmental entities have until the first day of the plan year that begins more than 180 days after the IRS notifies them of the failure to correct their plan failures (IRC Section 457(b)(6) and Treasury Regulation Section 1.457-9(a)). Considering the time governmental entities have to self-correct plan errors, they may not need to make voluntary submissions to the IRS in most cases.

If a governmental plan sponsor needs to request additional relief or simply wants IRS approval for a correction method for a non-plan document failure, they may make a submission to VC as permitted by Revenue Procedure 2013-12, Section 4.09. The plan sponsor must indicate that they are aware of the self-correction rule in IRC Section 457(b)(6) and Treasury Regulation Section 1.457-9, but still wants to proceed with a written VC application. Plan sponsors should include this statement and Form 8950, Application for Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) (instructions) with their submission.

Send your questions about submitting a request for voluntary correction for a 457(b) retirement plan to

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 10-Feb-2015