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Apply for a Determination Letter - Individually Designed Plans

An individually designed plan is a retirement plan drafted to be used by only one employer.

Who applies for a determination letter for an individually designed plan?

The employer adopting the individually designed plan applies for the determination letter, usually through a benefits practitioner.

When to apply 

Applications for individually designed plans are submitted once every five years based on the plan's five-year remedial amendment cycle. Otherwise, the application is off-cycle.

See the overview of the staggered remedial amendment cycles for a general explanation of the cycle system.

How to apply 

  1. Amend your plan for all applicable changes on your cycle’s Cumulative List
  2. Fill out and submit the appropriate forms and include plan documents with your application package. Review Revenue Procedure 2014-6 for details.
    • Form 8717- User Fee for Employee Plan Determination, Opinion, and Advisory Letter Request
    • One of the following forms:
      • Form 5300, Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan
      • Form 5310, Application for Determination for Terminating Plan

    • One of the following forms, if you have a representative:
      • Form 2848 - Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative
      • Form 8821 - Tax Information Authorization

    • Copies of the plan and trust documents, interim and discretionary amendments adopted or effective in the current cycle, and other supporting documents. If the plan is terminating, the plan document should be updated for any changes in the law effective as of the date of termination.
    • If the plan has previously received a favorable determination letter from the IRS, include a copy of the letter. Include any amendment(s) that have been made to the plan since the letter was issued in addition to a copy of your restated plan document.
    • If the plan has not previously received a favorable determination letter, submit prior plan documents, adoption agreements and amendments to show compliance with prior tax laws. For additional guidance, see QAB 2000-2 - Verification of Prior Plan Documents in the Absence of a Determination Letter.
    • Follow these tips to expedite the determination letter process

  3. Pay the appropriate user fee. If you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for a user fee exemption.

  4. Mail your application to the appropriate address

Where to mail your application 

Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 12192
Covington, KY 41012–0192.

For express mail or a delivery service:

Internal Revenue Service
201 West Rivercenter Blvd.
Attn: Extracting Stop 312
Covington, KY 41011.

Review process

Types of determination letters

Additional resources

 

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 28-Mar-2014