Some plan sponsors may, under limited circumstances, submit requests to the IRS for voluntary correction of IRC Section 457(b) deferred compensation plans (Revenue Procedure 2019-19, Section 4.09). The IRS’s Employee Plans Voluntary Compliance (VC) team will consider these requests on a provisional basis outside of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). VC retains complete discretion to accept or reject these requests. If accepted, VC will issue a special closing agreement.
- VC will not consider any issue relating to the form of a written 457(b) plan document.
- Governmental plan sponsors do not have to make a submission to VC to voluntarily fix problems with their 457(b) plans.
Where to send
Plan failures related to IRC Section 457(b) should be resolved in accordance with Revenue Procedure 2019-19, Section 4.09, by making an electronic submission to the IRS via the Pay.gov website:
- Create a PDF that contains a cover letter that describes the problem and proposed solution. As part of the PDF include any applicable exhibits and computations.
- Go to www.pay.gov and create an account
- After signing in, search for Form 8950, Application for Voluntary Correction Program
- Click on the link that will take you to the pay.gov version of Form 8950
- Follow the Form 8950 Instructions (PDF) and Rev. Proc. 2019-19, section 11
Don't submit plan document issues
We have received several submissions alleging that a written 457(b) plan was not timely adopted, or amended for some tax law or income tax regulation. VC will not issue closing agreements for these matters and will decline to process these requests and refund any payments. Plan sponsors are reminded that the remedial amendment concepts and definitions in Revenue Procedure 2007-44 or Revenue Procedure 2016-37 do not apply to 457(b) retirement plans.
Plan sponsors who want the IRS to review their 457(b) plan document or consider any other document form issue may request a private letter ruling. See Revenue Procedure 2020-1 (or annual successor revenue procedure) for details.
Governmental plan sponsors can self-correct
Governmental plan sponsors may self-correct their 457(b) plans if they did not comply with the Code or regulations. Governmental entities have until the first day of the plan year that begins more than 180 days after the IRS notifies them of the failure to correct their plan failures (IRC Section 457(b)(6) and Treasury Regulation Section 1.457-9(a)(PDF)). Considering the time governmental entities have to self-correct plan errors, they may not need to make voluntary submissions to the IRS in most cases.
If a governmental plan sponsor needs to request additional relief or simply wants IRS approval for a correction method for a non-plan document failure, they may make a submission to VC as permitted by Revenue Procedure 2019-19, Section 4.09. The plan sponsor must indicate that they are aware of the self-correction rule in IRC Section 457(b)(6) and Treasury Regulation Section 1.457-9, but still wants to proceed with a written VC application. Plan sponsors should include this statement as part of the PDF file that is submitted to the IRS via the pay.gov website after completing the online Form 8950 application.
Send your questions about submitting a request for voluntary correction for a 457(b) retirement plan to TEGE.EP.VC@irs.gov. Alternatively, call Paul Hogan at 206-946-3472 or Thelma Diaz at 626-927-1415 or Stephanie Bennett at 818-274-0720 with questions about submitting a request pertaining to a 457(b) plan.
We regret that we cannot answer technical questions. If you have account-specific questions, see EP Customer Account Services. Also see our complete line of Forms and Pubs regarding retirement plans. For other questions regarding retirement plans, visit our Frequently Asked Questions.