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List of Pre-Approved Plans

This list includes Master and Prototype (M&P) and Volume Submitter (VS) plans that were submitted to the IRS for opinion or advisory letters:

The list will be updated periodically. It includes:

  1. the name of the M&P sponsor or VS practitioner
  2. the file folder number (FFN) assigned to each plan
  3. the plan type of each plan submitted 
  4. a letter serial number (LSN) and date. Please note that virtually all of the opinion and advisory letters will be issued at the same time, thus at the date this list is initially issued it will not contain any LSNs or dates.

See also:

Determining the type of plan

The third digit of the FFN indicates the type of plan being approved.  For example, a number 2 or 3 respectively denote a standardized or nonstandardized M&P; a 5 or 6 depicts a volume submitter plan.

How to use the list

Step 1 - If the employer has adopted an M&P or VS plan, verify that the name of the M&P plan sponsor or VS practitioner appears on the list. If the name does not appear on the list, the employer may not be able to use the plan to restate for the 2010 Cumulative List. A plan that is not on the pre-approved plan list is considered an individually designed plan.

Step 2 - Determine if the M&P or VS plan that the employer has adopted has received a 2010 Cumulative List opinion or advisory letter. If so, the employer should adopt the approved plan, or take other action as provided in section 19 of Revenue Procedure 2016-37, within the time period described in Step 3, below. If the list does not indicate that a letter has been issued or the application withdrawn, then the application for the 2010 Cumulative List opinion or advisory letter is still pending (i.e., although virtually all of the pre-approved plans will be issued letters at the same time, there may be some applications still pending which will receive a letter with a later date). Sponsors receiving a later letter will not be entitled to any extension of the 2-year window for employer adoption to be announced by the IRS.

Step 3 - The date by which the employer must adopt an approved second-cycle M&P or VS plan, or take other permitted action to comply with the 2010 Cumulative List, is the end of the 2-year window announced by the IRS.  See discussion of deadlines at Pre-approved Retirement Plans - Adopting Employer.

Lists of plans for prior cycles


The EGTRRA lists contain the M&P and VS  plans that were submitted to the Service for EGTRRA opinion or advisory letters beginning February 1, 2007 (for DB plans) or February 17, 2005 (for DC plans), in accordance with filing procedures under Revenue Procedure 2005-16. The term "EGTRRA" refers to the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Pub. L. 107-16.

Adopting employers using these pre-approved plan documents to restate a plan for EGTRRA were required to adopt their plans by April 30, 2010 ( Announcement 2008-23), if a DC plan, or by April 30, 2012 (Announcement 2010-20), if a DB plan.


The GUST list contain the M&P and VS defined benefit and defined contribution plans that were submitted to the Service for EGTRRA opinion or advisory letters by December 31, 2000, the deadline for filing under of Revenue Procedure 2000-20, as modified by Notice 2001-42.

An employer who adopted, or certified its intent to adopt, a timely-submitted M&P plan or VS specimen plan by the end of the 2001 plan year (December 31, 2001, for calendar-year plans) had until the later of December 31, 2002, or 12 months after the date of the last opinion or advisory letter issued to the M&P plan sponsor or VS practitioner to adopt the GUST amended plan. See Announcement 2001-12 for more information.

The term "GUST" refers to the following legislation:

  • the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, Pub. L. 103-465
  • the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-353
  • the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-188
  • the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Pub. L. 105-34
  • the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-206
  • the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106-554

Additional resources: 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 29-Dec-2016