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Applications for Pre-Approved Defined Contribution Plan Opinion Letters

The IRS is accepting applications for opinion letters for pre-approved Defined Contribution (DC) plans for the third six-year remedial amendment cycle.

For the IRS to consider the third cycle’s application, the pre-approved DC plan provider must verify compliance with the second cycle’s requirements by:

  • Stating that an opinion or advisory letter wasn’t requested for the DC preapproved plan for a prior cycle or at any prior time;
  • Attaching the plan’s most recent opinion or advisory letter for the second six-year remedial amendment cycle; or
  • Including a satisfactory explanation of why an opinion or advisory letter wasn’t requested during the second six-year remedial amendment cycle and how the second cycle’s qualification requirements were timely satisfied by employers who adopted the plan. 

For example, if a pre-approved DC plan provider received an opinion letter for the first six-year remedial amendment cycle but didn’t secure a letter for the second cycle, the IRS won’t issue the plan’s opinion letter for the third cycle unless the DC pre-approved plan provider satisfies the third item listed above.

If a pre-approved DC plan provider can’t satisfy one of the three conditions, they must correct the qualification failure under the Voluntary Correction Program before applying for the third cycle’s  opinion letter.