IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

FAQs - DL Process - If I electronically sign my plan adoption agreement, do I need to submit any additional information with the application?

Revenue Procedure 2011-49, section 5.11 requires an adopting employer of a master & prototype plan to sign the adoption agreement when the plan is adopted or restated and when adoption agreement elections are made or changed by the employer. This requirement may be satisfied by an electronic signature that reliably authenticates and verifies the employer’s adoption of the adoption agreement, or restatement, amendment or modification thereof.

During the review of a determination letter application for a plan, the IRS checks whether the plan and amendments have been timely adopted. If an adopting employer of a master & prototype plan has electronically signed the adoption agreement, the employer should include information that will allow the IRS to determine that the plan or amendment was timely adopted with the determination letter application for the plan. For example, if the employer electronically signed the adoption agreement through a system maintained by the master & prototype sponsor, the employer may include with the determination letter application a statement from the master & prototype sponsor that the employer electronically signed the adoption agreement through a system that reliably authenticates and verifies the employer’s adoption of the adoption agreement. The statement must also indicate the date on which the employer electronically signed the adoption agreement. The master & prototype sponsor's statement attesting to the employer's electronic signature would have to be signed by the master & prototype sponsor (the IRS will accept a facsimile signature on the statement).

As an alternative, the employer could submit dated correspondence from the master & prototype sponsor acknowledging receipt of the employer’s electronically signed adoption agreement. Other types of information may also be acceptable. Failure to include sufficient information with the determination letter application to allow the IRS to determine when the plan or amendment was adopted application may lead to requests for additional information from the IRS and delays in processing the application.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 11-Feb-2014