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Employee Plans News

Issue 2014-16, October 15, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

New single distribution rule – allows participants to send the pre-tax amount of their distribution to one destination and after-tax to another

Canadian retirement plan participants – qualify for tax deferred contributions to certain plans

Mandatory electronic filing for Form 8955-SSA and 5500-series – for filers who have to file at least 250 returns during the calendar year

Fidelity bonds and depositing plan contributions – EPCU Virgin Island retirement plans project results

Form 5500-EZ Pilot Penalty Relief Program – watch video for details (2.11 min)

IRS Nationwide Tax Forums online – seminars include two videos, slides and transcripts on retirement plan topics

The Advisory Committee on Tax-Exempt & Government Entities (ACT) – is accepting applications including two for Employee Plans - apply by Nov. 3


HATFA premium guidance – effect of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 on PBGC premiums

Premium payments – instructions and contact information to ensure your payments are posted accurately

Issue 2014-15, September 22, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Form 5498 reporting errors
IRA trustees, issuers and custodians should carefully complete IRA transactions

Updated: Finding missing plan participants
Steps plan sponsors may take to locate missing participants

DOL corner
Updates on brokerage windows and missing participants

Issue 2014-14, September 8, 2014

User Fee for Employee Plan Opinion or Advisory Letter Request
Updated Form 8717-A –  We will accept prior versions of Form 8717-A postmarked on or before October 31, 2014, as long as you’ve enclosed the correct user fee.

Defined benefit plan update (Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. EDT) – learn about recent legislation, recent and pending guidance, current developments in determination letter and Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System cases, and common exam issues.

Issue 2014-13, September 2, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Group trust rules
Changes to 81-100 group trust rules
– include allowing assets in an insurance company’s separate account to be invested in a group trust under certain conditions.

Retirement plan hot topics
(Sept. 11 at 2 p.m. EDT) – learn about the myRA program, IRA tax-free rollovers, the Windsor Supreme Court ruling, invalid Social Security numbers, Form 5500-EZ filing pitfalls and relief program, and tips for self-employed plan sponsors.

Issue 2014-12, August 21, 2014

Correcting retirement plan mistakes using IRS correction programs (Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. EDT) – learn how the IRS correction programs for retirement plans work, how to address common plan failures, tips to expedite submissions and how to resolve issues that can’t be addressed under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.

User Fee for Employee Plan Opinion or Advisory Letter Request
Updated Form 8717-A – you must use updated form for all applications postmarked on or after August 1, 2014.

Issue 2014-11, August 4, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Defined benefit plan terminations webinar – (August 14 at 2 p.m. EDT) – we’ll discuss how the IRS defines the date of termination, final funding requirements, PBGC issues, reversions and what is needed in a notice of intent to terminate the plan.

Updated plan termination resources

User fee forms for determination, opinion or advisory letter requests
Comment request for Forms 8717 and 8717-A – submit your comments by September 26, 2014.

Issue 2014-10, July 10, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Final rules regarding longevity annuities – expand proposed rules on longevity annuities for plans and IRAs (T.D. 9673)

403(b) plans update and latest developments phone forum – (July 28 at 2 p.m. EDT) – includes discussion on the 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan Program

Form 5500-EZ pilot penalty relief program (1.55 min. video) – see overview of the program’s requirements

2014 Nationwide Tax Forums – review descriptions of Employee Plans and Exempt Organizations’ presentations

Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities Report (June 11, 2014) – includes recommendations for EP’s pre-approved and determination letter programs

Issue 2014-9, June 17, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Revised Voluntary Correction Program forms – use new fill-in Forms 14568, and 14568-A - 14568-I

Retirement plans after Windsor phone forum – (live on June 26 at 2 p.m. EDT; rebroadcast on July 8 at 2 p.m. EDT) – how the Windsor decision and recent guidance affect spousal provisions in qualified retirement plans

Requesting copies of plan documents – how to request copies of documents in determination letter application files

Accepting rollover contributions – use due diligence examples in new revenue ruling to verify rollovers are from a qualified plan or IRA

Issue 2014-8, May 16, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Mid-year amendments – allowed for safe harbor 401(k) and 401(m) plans to reflect same sex marriage rules

Retirement plan payments for accident, health and disability insurance – when payments aren’t taxable distributions to participants

Verifying rollover contributions – simplified due diligence procedures to confirm a rollover is from a qualified plan or IRA

Disaster Relief for Retirement Plans and IRAs – learn if your retirement plan or IRA deadlines have been extended

Employee Plans Compliance Unit


Issue 2014-7, May 9, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Pilot penalty relief program for some late Form 5500-EZ filers

Changes to IRS Penalty Relief for DOL DFVC Filers of Late Annual Reports

Related employers phone forum (May 22 at 2 p.m. EDT) – how the IRS reviews controlled and affiliated service groups

Groups are accepting nominations for three-year terms on:

  • Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC) – apply by May 30, 2013
  • Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) – apply by June 13, 2014

PBGC – What’s new for practitioners?

Issue 2014-6, April 4, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Treatment of Marriages of Same-Sex Couples for Retirement Plan Purposes – Notice 2014-19

Plan terminations - EP phone forum on May 6 at 2 p.m. EDT

Issue 2014-5, March 27, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

IRA one-rollover-per-year rule - Beginning as early as January 1, 2015, you can only make one rollover during any 1-year period from all your IRAs (Announcement 2014-15)

New two-year period to adopt pre-approved defined contribution plans – most opinion and advisory letters to be issued on March 31, 2014; employers must adopt new plans by April 30, 2016 (Announcement 2014-16)

403(b) pre-approved plans - deadline for submitting 403(b) pre-approved plans extended to April 30, 2015, and eligibility criteria changed to allow more plan sponsors and employers to participate in the program (Revenue Procedure 2014-28)

Errors on power of attorney and representative forms - common errors on Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, and Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, submitted with determination letter applications

Issue 2014-4, March 19, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Withdrawal of Cycle C applications - Cycle C determination letter applicants who intend to adopt a pre-approved cash balance plan may withdraw their applications by May 31, 2014, if they sign Form 8905, Certification of Intent to Adopt a Pre-approved Plan, by March 31, 2014

FAQs on withdrawing Cycle C applications

Unreasonable Assumptions in actuarial certifications of post-retirement medical benefit reserves may have consequences

Issue 2014-3, March 4, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Sign Form 8905, Certificate of Intent to Adopt a Pre-approved Plan, by March 31, 2014, if you're a Cycle C individually designed defined benefit plan and intend to adopt a pre-approved plan

Correction options for 457(b) plans – EP Voluntary Compliance is not available for form errors

Employee Plans Compliance Unit

2013 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification phone forum (March 13, 2014, at 2 p.m. EDT) will discuss the changes sponsors and practitioners must make to their plans

SIMPLE IRA plan tips for sole proprietors – where to deduct, when to contribute and how to calculate the owner's contributions

MyRA program information Fact Sheet, FAQs and video in English and Spanish

New Publication 5136, IRS Services Guide – where individual taxpayers and professionals can get help


Issue 2014-2, January 23, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Deadline Extended For Pre-Approved Defined Benefit Plans
Deadline extended until February 2, 2015, to submit on-cycle opinion and advisory letter applications for pre-approved defined benefit plans for the second six-year remedial amendment cycle (Announcement 2014-4). Without this extension, the applications for these plans would have been due by January 31, 2014.

Issue 2014-1, January 14, 2014

Print version of newsletter (.pdf)

Determination letter applications

The Employee Plans News is a periodic IRS newsletter with retirement plan information for retirement plan practitioners.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 15-Oct-2014