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Phone Forums - Retirement Plans

Free phone forums featuring IRS employees discussing retirement plan topics.

Upcoming Phone Forums

Plan Terminations – What You Need to Know Before You Terminate That Plan - May 6, 2014

We’ll discuss the important items to review when a retirement plan terminates, like the date of termination, permanency requirement, the need to update the plan for all law requirements and accelerated vesting requirements. Please email us your questions by April 21, 2014.

Registration Link - after registering, you’ll receive an email with detailed access instructions.

Date: May 6, 2014

Time: 2:00 Eastern

Duration: 60 Minutes

Evaluation: After attending the forum, please complete and send Form 14364, Continuing Education Evaluation, to

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

  • Enrolled Agents and Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents may earn CE credit for attending the entire phone forum. The forum is also intended to meet the CE requirements for Enrolled Actuaries, but the final decision rests with the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries. Other professional groups should consult with their licensing agencies regarding CE credit.
  • Participants must register individually and use their own assigned User ID to receive CE credit.
  • Each participant must use an individual phone line to establish attendance and the length of time attending the forum.
  • A Certificate of Completion will be emailed to the participants who meet the attendance requirement about a week after the forum.
  • Interested in other opportunities to earn free CE credits?

If you have question(s), please contact us at

Recently Held Phone Forums

An Overview of the 2013 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification- March 13, 2014 - Discussed the list of changes plan sponsors and practitioners must make to a plan before submitting determination letter applications beginning February 1, 2014 (Notice 2013-84). 
Handouts: An Overview of the 2013 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification presentation and Notice 2013-84

Upcoming Employee Plans Guidance Phone Forum - February 26, 2014 (scheduled previously for October 29, 2013) - Reviewed retirement benefit items on the 2013-2014 Priority Guidance Plan released on August 9 and other projects in EP Technical Guidance.
Handout: Employee Plans Technical Guidance

Ethical Standards of Employee Benefits Practice – What to Ask and Say to Clients, and What to Tell the IRS - January 29, 2014 (rebroadcast February 6, 2014) - Discussed an employee benefits practitioner’s ethical standards of conduct under Circular 230 for communications with clients and the IRS. 
Handout: Ethical Standards for Employee Benefits Practitioners

The Employee Plans Team Audit Program - November 21, 2013 -(transcript) - Discussed EPTA, our large case audit program. 
Handout: The Employee Plans Team Audit Program Presentation

How to prepare for an IRS Employee Plans Audit - August 29, 2013 - Two Sessions - Discussed latest information about the Employee Plans Examinations process.
Handout: Tools to Prepare for an Audit presentation

The Importance of Good Internal Controls - August 8, 2013 - (transcript) - Discussed how effective internal controls are essential to preventing costly mistakes that could jeopardize a retirement plan’s tax-favored status.
Handout: The Importance of Good Internal Controls presentation

EPCRS: Correcting 401(k) Plan Mistakes – Two Sessions - July 25, 2013 - (transcript) - Discussed correcting common 401(k) plan mistakes under EPCRS Revenue Procedure 2013-12, and how to find, fix and avoid them.
Handout: EPCRS: Correcting 401(k) Plan Mistakes presentation

What You Need to Know about the 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan Program - June 25, 2013 - (audio) - Discussed the upcoming 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan Program outlined in Revenue Procedure 2013-22.
Handout: 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan Program Presentation

403(b) Corrections and Examination Trends - May 23, 2013 - (audio) Discussed Revenue Procedure 2013-12 including guidance on correcting 403(b) plan failures and updates to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.
Handout: 403(b) Plan Correction Issues Presentation

What You Need to Know About the IRS Final 401(k) Questionnaire Report and Next Steps - May 13, 2013 - Discussed significant findings and next steps (including outreach, guidance and compliance projects) and a new self-audit tool to help 401(k) plan sponsors avoid costly mistakes. 
Handout: Final 401(k) Questionnaire Report Presentation (Updated)

Defined Benefit Plan Update - April 23, 2013 - (transcript) - Discussed recent developments affecting defined benefit plans.
Handout: Defined Benefit Plan Update Presentation

International Issues Involving Retirement Plans in U.S. Territories  - March 21, 2013 - Discussed audit results and recurring issues of retirement plans in U.S. Territories, and Employee Plans’ 2013 fiscal year strategies and operating priorities.
Handout: International Issues Involving Retirement Plans in U.S. Territories Presentation

Overview of the 2012 Cumulative List of Plan Qualification Changes - February 28, 2013 - (audio) - Discussed the list of plan changes to by plan sponsors and practitioners submitting determination letter applications during the period beginning February 1, 2013 (Notice 2012-76).
Handout: Overview of the 2012 Cumulative List of Plan Qualification Changes Presentation

Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System Changes - February 21, 2013 - Session #1 & 2 - (audio) - Discussed Revenue Procedure 2013-12 and the various changes to the IRS correction programs.
Handout: EPCRS Changes Presentation

Ethical Standards for and Accountability of Practitioners Offering Tax Advice Relating to Employee Benefit Plans - February 13, 2013 (audio) - Discussed professional standards of conduct applicable to, and the accountability of, individuals that provide tax advice relating to employee benefit plans.  
Handout: Ethical Standards Presentation

Retirement plans can make loans, hardship distributions to Sandy victims - December 11, 2012 (audio)- Discussed Announcement 2012-44 and the options available to employees their families and plan sponsors.
Handout: Hurricane Sandy Relief Presentation

MAP-21: Changes to Segment Rates - September 27, 2012 - (audio) - Discussed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and recently released related guidance.
Handout: MAP-21 Presentation

EPCRS: Correction of 401(k) Plan Mistakes (September 7, 2012) - (audio) - How to correct common mistakes in 401(k) plans.
Handouts: Correction Methods for 401(k) Failures Presentation

Lifetime Annuity Guidance (August 28, 2012) (Audio and Transcript) - Guidance designed to encourage lifetime annuity options for retirees. The presentation included Revenue Ruling 2012-3, Revenue Ruling 2012-4, and proposed regulations under sections 401(a)(9) and 417(e)(3) of the Code.
Handout: Lifetime Annuity Guidance Presentation

Operating Under the Written Plan Requirements and Common Issues Identified in 403(b) Plans (June 12, 2012) (transcript)- Frequent questions pertaining to the 403(b) written plan requirements and how the IRS is approaching the written plan requirement under audit.
Handouts: Operating Under the Written Plan Requirements and Common Issues Identified in 403(b) Plans Presentation

Governmental Plan Proposed Guidance (May 15, 2012) (transcript) - Proposed drafts of the general guidance on possible standards for determining if a retirement plan is a governmental plan under IRC section 414(d).

Indian Tribal Government Retirement Plans (April 24, 2012) - Possible standards for determining whether a plan of an Indian Tribal Government is a governmental plan within the meaning of section 414(d) of the Code.

EP Determination Letter Program Update (March 30, 2012) (transcript) - Important changes to the Employee Plans determination letter program.
Handout: EP Determination Letter Program Update Presentation

401(k) Questionnaire Interim Report IRS Phone Forum (March 6, 2012) (transcript) - 401(k) Questionnaire Interim Report, its next steps, and current issues.
Handout: 401(k) Questionnaire Interim Report Presentation

Funding-Based Benefit Restrictions - (February 23, 2012) (transcript)- funding-based benefit restrictions under IRC section 436.
Handout: Funding-Based Benefit Restrictions Presentation

Self Correction Program (SCP) and Closing Agreement Program (CAP) (November 30, 2011) (transcript) - current EPCRS issues, procedures and CAP sanctions
Handout: SCP and CAP Presentation

Determination Letter Issues Regarding Employee Stock Ownership Plans (October 28, 2011) (transcript) - technical issues affecting ESOPs and recurring issues noted in ESOP determination letter submissions
Handout: Determination Letter Issues Regarding Employee Stock Ownership Plans Presentation

Current Developments and Issues from the office of Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements (September 21, 2011) (transcript) - technical guidance hot topics and voluntary compliance applications
Handout: Current Developments and Issues Presentation

Participant Loans (September 12, 2011) (transcript) - treatment of loans as distributions, taxability and IRC §4975
Handout: Participants Loans Presentation
Helpful Links: The Fix Is In: Common Plan Mistakes - Participant Loans in 401(k) Plans; The Fix Is In: Common Plan Mistakes - Plan Loan Failures and Deemed Distributions;  Retirement Plans FAQs regarding Loans

EPCRS: Plan Correction Issues (August 25, 2011)  (transcript) - recurring issues found in EPCRS and tips to avoid common mistakes
Handout: EPCRS: Plan Correction Issues Presentation

Ethics for Employee Plans Practitioners (July 29, 2011) (transcript)- ethical standards of practice before the IRS applicable to employee benefits practitioners
Handout: Ethics for Employee Plans Practitioners Presentation

Funding Standards and Relief for Single and Multiemployer Plans (April 28, 2011) (transcript) - funding standards applicable to single and multiemployer pension plans
Handout: Funding Standards Presentation

Form 5330 - Completion and Processing Tidbits (March 24, 2011) (transcript) - proper completion and processing of the Form 5330, along with ways to avoid common mistakes

EP Technical Guidance (March 4, 2011) (transcript) - recent published guidance and updates on current IRS initiatives
Handout: EP Technical Guidance Presentation

In-Plan Roth Rollover Phone Forum (December 20, 2010) (Transcript) - recent guidance on in-plan Roth rollovers for 401(k) and 403(b) plans
Handout: In-Plan Roth Rollover Phone Forum Presentation

Hybrid Plans (November 23, 2010) (Transcript) - new hybrid plan regulations

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 11-Apr-2014