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Discontinued Pre-Approved Retirement Plans

Revenue Procedure 2017-41 describes IRS procedures for issuing opinion letters.  Sections 16.01 and 16.02 describe steps a provider must take if it intends to no longer offer a pre-approved plan for adoption (discontinued plan).


Steps to take when a pre-approved plan is discontinued under Revenue Procedure 2017-41


A provider that intends to discontinue a pre-approved plan must notify:

  • the IRS that it is discontinuing the plan, and
  • all employers who continue to use the plan that the form of the plan has terminated and the employer’s plan will become an individually designed plan.

Example: A pre-approved plan provider currently maintains three plans consisting of a standardized prototype profit sharing plan, a non-standardized prototype money purchase plan and a volume submitter profit sharing/401(k) plan.  All have received favorable pre-approved letters and all necessary interim amendments have been timely adopted.


During the third six-year cycle submission period, the provider decides to file only a single non-standardized document consisting of a profit sharing plan with a detachable 401(k) feature and a money purchase plan.  This provider should not notify the IRS that any of its second cycle plans are being discontinued, since they all will be maintained only now in a single document.  This holds true whether the third cycle plan is designed as an adoption agreement or a single document plan.


The provider is only required to give a discontinued notice to employers who do not utilize any one of the three plan types contained in the newly approved non-standardized plan. 


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