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Pre-Approved Retirement Plans

A pre-approved retirement plan is a standardized plan sold to employers by a document provider such as a financial institution or benefits practitioner. The document provider is the “pre-approved plan sponsor.” The document provider requests IRS approval (“pre-approval”) of a defined contribution or defined benefit plan document as meeting the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Sections 401, 403(a) or 403(b). The pre-approved plan sponsor then makes the IRS-approved plan available to adopting employers. The IRS also issues opinion letters for prototype IRAs.

For employers

For document providers

How to apply - procedures and forms

When to apply

Plan language resources

  • Amend or update a plan
    Cumulative lists, listings of required modifications (LRM), quality assurance bulletins (QABs), etc.

Sponsoring a pre-approved plan

Additional resources

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 26-Apr-2017