Opinion or Advisory Letters for Pre-Approved Retirement Plans FAQs

For more information on determination, opinion and advisory letters for retirement plans, see:


Applying for an opinion or advisory letter

What form should I file in order to request an opinion letter or an advisory letter for a pre-approved plan?

See the submission procedures for opinion and advisory letters for pre-approved plans.


Must a pre-approved plan provider include a restated plan document when submitting the plan for review?

Yes, a restated document is required for a pre-approved plan. See Revenue Procedure 2017-41.


Must we submit a redlined copy of the plan highlighting changes from the last time the document was approved by the IRS?

You’re not required to submit a redlined document. However, we encourage applicants to redline or highlight changes to the pre-approved plan document to make it easier to review.


What are the user fees for opinion and advisory letters?

User fees for retirement plan opinion and advisory letters are published annually. You must submit Form 8717-A with your user fee.


SECOND CYCLE SUBMISSIONS

Will the IRS reissue an advisory or opinion letter when a new entity assumes sponsorship of an approved volume submitter plan or master & prototype?

Yes. For $300 per basic plan document, the IRS will reissue an advisory or opinion letter when a new entity, shown by a change of the EIN, assumes sponsorship of an approved VS or M&P plan without any amendment to the plan document. In addition to the user fee, an application and a cover letter explaining the assumption of sponsorship must be submitted.

THIRD CYCLE SUBMISSIONS

Will the IRS reissue an opinion letter when a new entity assumes sponsorship of a pre-approved plan?

Yes. For $300 per basic plan document, the IRS will reissue an opinion letter when a new entity, shown by a change of the EIN, assumes sponsorship of a pre-approved plan without any amendment to the plan document. In addition to the user fee, an application and a cover letter explaining the assumption of sponsorship must be submitted.


Will the IRS accept an off-cycle filing for a pre-approved plan?

Pre-approved plan providers may not submit an off-cycle filing for a pre-approved plan once the announced approximate 2 year window for employer adoption begins for that cycle of plans (section 21.03 of Revenue Procedure 2015-36 and section 11 of Revenue Procedure 2017-41). Word-for-word identical adopter filings of mass submitter plans are never considered off cycle and therefore can be filed at any time.


Where do I file my application for a pre-approved plan?

Forms 4461, 4461-A, 4461-B, or Appendix A of Revenue Procedure 2017-41 must be sent to:

Postal mail address:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: Pre-Approved Plans Coordinator
Room 6-403, Group 7521
P.O. Box 2508
Cincinnati, OH 45201-2508

Express mail or delivery services address:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: Pre-Approved Plans Coordinator
Room 6-403, Group 7521
550 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-5203

Form 5306 - Opinion letter requests for prototype or employer-sponsored IRAs should be sent to:

Internal Revenue Service
Attention: EP Opinion Letters
Stop 31
P.O. Box 12192
Covington, KY 41012-0192


How do I get assistance?


Pre-approved plan language

Where can I find information about required amendments and sample plan language for pre-approved plans?

See Amend or Update a Plan for Listings of Required Modifications (LRMs) containing sample language for pre-approved plans, Cumulative Lists of guidance that may require plan amendments, and other resources.