22.43.1  Obtaining Products and Services from Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach

Manual Transmittal

October 05, 2012

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 22.43.1, Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach, Obtaining Products and Services from Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach.

Material Changes

(1) The section title was revised for clarity. In addition, editorial and formatting changes were made throughout the document. Web links were updated.

(2) IRM 22.43.1.1 subsection title was changed from "Introduction" to "Overview."

(3) IRM 22.43.1.3.1.1 updated to eliminate the requirement that the article consist of 255-600 words. The link to the newsletters' editor was removed.

(4) IRM 22.43.1.3.2 updated to include a link to irs.gov/retirement and remove the reference to Determinations.

(5) IRM 22.43.1.3.2.1 was updated to remove the "Note" referring to priority posting.

(6) IRM 22.43.1.4.1.1, Travel Authorization Guidelines was updated and renamed Reporting Instructions.

(7) IRM 22.43.1.4.1.2, Reporting Instructions information was moved to IRM 22.43.1.4.1.1.

(8) IRM 22.43.1.4.1.1.1, Request for Exception was deleted.

(9) IRM 22.43.1.4.2, Multimedia Projectors and Event Display was updated to eliminate reference to projector types.

(10) The Commissioner's Key Messages link was removed from IRM 22.43.1.4.5.

(11) IRM 22.43.1.3 updated to clarify that all programs in Employee Plans are affect by the compliance program initiatives.

(12) IRM 22.43.1.3.2.1 replaced Area Manager with Senior Manager.

(13) IRM 22.43.1.3 was updated to add a definition for outreach analysts.

Effect on Other Documents

Supersedes IRM 22.43.1 dated October 31, 2008

Audience

TEGE (Employee Plans)

Effective Date

(10-05-2012)


Robert Choi
Director, Employee Plans
Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division

22.43.1.1  (10-05-2012)
Overview

  1. This section provides guidance on how to access the services and programs that Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach provides to Employee Plans managers, their agents, and the retirement plans community.

  2. The mission of Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach is to support the Director of Employee Plans by developing products and services that help the members of the retirement plans community understand their tax rights and responsibilities under the law.

22.43.1.2  (10-05-2012)
Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach Organizational Structure

  1. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach staff members are located in each of the Employee Plans Area Offices. They are dedicated to supporting the program goals of the Director, Employee Plans Examinations and Director, Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements by planning, coordinating, and developing educational services and outreach products for the retirement plans community.

  2. The Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach management team consists of the Director, Staff Assistant, Program Analyst, and Program Assistant.

  3. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach analysts are revenue agents and tax law specialist who are responsible for developing content for Employee Plans websites, media products, forms, publications and newsletters. They also work with the Area Analysts to:

    1. Develop and present seminars, workshops and other programs.

    2. Maintain a library of Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach presentation materials (such as PowerPoint presentations and resources for developing effective speeches).

  4. An Area Analyst is dedicated to each Employee Plans Area Office. They focus on coordinating and delivering educational services such as speeches, benefits conferences, workshops, and webcasts to the retirement plans community. They also:

    1. Issue reporting instructions for events held within their area.

    2. Monitor the costs incurred for attending educational events.

    3. Assist Employee Plans speakers with developing their presentation skills.

    4. Gather feedback from completed educational events.

22.43.1.3  (10-05-2012)
Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach Products

  1. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach is responsible for helping the retirement plans community understand its rights and responsibilities under the law by developing products and services geared toward specific groups in the community.

  2. Products and services are divided into Direct and Indirect contacts.

    1. Direct contacts are accomplished through the Customer Education Program. The program includes IRS participation at benefits conferences, speeches, workshops, and exhibiting.

    2. Indirect contacts are made through printed products, electronic media, and the Internet.

  3. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach Analysts work with Employee Plans Examinations and Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements to create products that help the retirement plans community understand Employee Plans compliance programs, initiatives , and current legislation. These products are geared to specific segments of the retirement plans community and include:

    • Newsletters

    • Publications

    • Videos

    • Webcasts

22.43.1.3.1  (10-31-2008)
Newsletters

  1. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach publishes two electronic newsletters that focus on different segments of the retirement plans community.

    1. The Employee Plans News targets the retirement plans practitioner community. It contains articles on retirement plans issues and law updates.

    2. The Retirement News for Employers is intended for small business owners, the self-employed and their tax advisors. It provides plain language guidance on retirement plans issues and law updates.

22.43.1.3.1.1  (10-05-2012)
Article Submissions

  1. Authors are encouraged to submit topics that are relevant to the retirement plans community. Employees must obtain their manager’s approval prior to writing the article.

  2. When drafting an article, focus on the main points of the topic, and keep the audience in mind.

    1. Articles for the Retirement News for Employers should use plain language geared to small employers.

    2. Articles for the Employee Plans News may be more technical, but should also use plain language and be written in easy-to-read Web formatting (using headings, bulleted lists, and short sentences).

  3. Submit articles to the newsletters’ editor or to the Director of Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach.

22.43.1.3.2  (10-05-2012)
Intranet/Internet

  1. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach is responsible for updating portions of Employee Plans content on the Intranet and the http://www.irs.gov/retirement/ page.

  2. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach assists Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements and Employee Plans Examinations with writing, reviewing and posting Web content.

22.43.1.3.2.1  (10-05-2012)
Content Submissions

  1. Contact the Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach Web Analyst when requesting a posting of new content or updating existing content. See IRM 22.43.1.2 (4).

  2. Obtain Senior Manager level approval before submitting a posting request to Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach.

  3. Once an approved request is received, an Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach analyst will assist the author with developing content, reviewing documents, and preparing the content for posting.  The Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach Web modernization team may review the content for plain language and proper Web formatting.  A final proof will be e-mailed to the author and the approving official for review before posting.

22.43.1.3.3  (10-31-2008)
Publications and Multimedia Products

  1. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach is responsible for coordinating with Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements and Employee Plans Examinations to develop outreach products for external customers in the retirement plans community. These products are designed to support Employee Plans initiatives and law updates so external customers will understand their rights and responsibilities under the law.

22.43.1.3.3.1  (10-05-2012)
Proposing a New Product

  1. Generally, a request for a new product should be submitted through the Senior Manager’s office to the Director, Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach.

  2. A request must include:

    1. Applicable Code section

    2. Detailed description of the product

    3. Prior history with the external customer

    4. Short term objectives

    5. Long term objectives

    6. Benefits to external customers

  3. Once the Director of Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach has approved a request, it will be forwarded to the appropriate Customer Education and Outreach Analyst.

22.43.1.4  (10-05-2012)
Employee Plans Outreach Services

  1. Each Area Analyst is responsible for the Customer Education Program in the Area Analyst's geographic location. Employee Plans Senior Manager must inform Area Analysts of all direct contacts planned in their Area and should contact them for help with local outreach projects. Area Analysts coordinate the following services:

    • Speakers cadre (training and coordination)

    • Employee Plans benefits conference support

    • Workshops

    • Exhibitions

    • Speeches

    • Written presentations

22.43.1.4.1  (10-31-2008)
Requesting a Speaker

  1. If an outside organization requests a speaker through an Employee Plans employee for any event (seminar, webcast, panel) the Area Analyst must approve the event before it can be accepted. The Area Analyst will need the following information to approve the event:

    • Name and description of the organization

    • Location, date and time of the event

    • Number of expected participants

    • Topic being discussed

    • Format of the event (speech, panel, webcast, etc.)

  2. Requests may be submitted to the appropriate Area Analyst by e-mailing the above information to them, or by sending a completed Request for Employee Plans Educational Services Form by fax or e-mail directly to the appropriate Area Analyst. See IRM 22.43.1.2 (4).

  3. Once the Area Analyst receives the request, the Area Analyst is responsible for coordinating the event, assigning a speaker(s), issuing reporting instructions and providing support.

22.43.1.4.1.1  (10-05-2012)
Reporting Instructions

  1. The Area Analyst responsible for the event will issue reporting instructions to speakers with funding and WebETS codes.

  2. The speaker must attach the reporting instructions to their travel voucher.

22.43.1.4.2  (10-05-2012)
Multimedia Projectors and Event Displays

  1. Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach has multimedia projectors available at various locations around the country. These projectors are available for use at outreach events. The Washington, DC post of duty has screens available for use with the projectors. Please call or e-mail the appropriate Area Analyst for assistance with reserving a projector.

  2. Information is provided on the Web to help with projects and event displays.

    1. For guidelines on reserving a projector and practical advice on usage and troubleshooting: Need Help? - Equipment Use under the Speakers Resources Library

    2. For advice on setting up displays and exhibiting techniques: Need Help? - Exhibiting

22.43.1.4.3  (10-31-2008)
Media Contacts at Educational Events

  1. During an exhibiting or speaking engagement an employee may come in contact with individuals in the media who want to interview them, quote them, or reprint hand out materials. Speakers should be prepared for the possibility of being approached.

  2. Know the IRS rules on handling media contact and the help available to you to ensure cooperation with such contact in every reasonable way permitted by law. See Need Help?- Media Relations Issues in the Speakers Resources Library for policies, procedures, training, and FAQs on media contacts.

22.43.1.4.4  (10-31-2008)
Employee Plans Speakers Cadre

  1. The Employee Plans Speakers Cadre’s purpose is to educate the retirement plans community, presenting a uniform message from the Director, Employee Plans on current retirement plans issues.

  2. Speakers are employees from Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements, Employee Plans Examinations, and Employee Plans Customer Education and Outreach approved by their manager and trained by their local Area Analyst to participate in outreach events. See IRM 22.43.1.2 (4) Potential cadre members must have their manager's approval prior to joining the cadre.

22.43.1.4.5  (10-05-2012)
Employee Plans Speakers Resources Library

  1. The Employee Plans Speakers Resources Library contains materials to help speakers design their presentations and improve their skills in public speaking. The library has three sections:

    • See Resources for PowerPoint presentations, Current Talking Points, Enforcement Videos, and other technical information that presenters can use in their presentations.

    • See Need Help? for a wide range of topics to help speakers prepare their presentation, such as PowerPoint Techniques, using Visual Aids, and Speaker FAQs.

    • See Retirement Plan Statistics for an archive of statistics presenters can use in their presentations.



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