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Recent Published Guidance

Interested in a printable PDF? See the list of Internal Revenue Bulletins in PDF format.

Recent Interest Rate Notices
Updates for the corporate bond weighted average interest rates; the 24-month average segment rates; the funding transitional segment rates; and the minimum present value transitional rates.

T.D. 9767, 2016-21 I.R.B. 857
Final regulations providing guidance under section 432(e)(9)(D)(vii) on an additional limitation on a benefit suspension with respect to certain multiemployer defined benefit pension plans in critical and declining funded status.

Revenue Procedure 2016-27, 2016-19 I.R.B. 725
Revised procedures for applications for a suspension of benefits under a multiemployer defined benefit pension plan that is in critical and declining status under IRC Section 432(e)(9). These procedures replace the procedures set forth in Rev. Proc. 2015–34, 2015–27 I.R.B. 1218. The procedures set forth in this revenue procedure must be followed for applications submitted on or after April 26, 2016.

Announcement 2016-16, 2016-18 I.R.B. 697
The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service  announce that they will withdraw certain provisions of proposed regulations published on January 29, 2016 (81 FR 4976) relating to nondiscrimination requirements applicable to qualified retirement plans under IRC Section 401(a)(4). The provisions of the Proposed Regulations that will be withdrawn are the provisions that would modify Sections 1.401(a)(4)–2(c) and 1.401(a)(4)–3(c).

T.D. 9749, 2016-10 I.R.B. 373
This regulation addresses the composition of the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (the “Joint Board”). The Joint Board establishes standards and qualifications for persons performing actuarial services with respect to pension plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

REG–101701–16, 2016-9 I.R.B. 368
Proposed regulations that would provide guidance on the application of a limitation under IRC Section 432(e)(9)(D)(vii) on a suspension of benefits under Section 432(e)(9) under a multiemployer defined benefit pension plan that includes benefits directly attributable to a participant’s service with any employer that has withdrawn from the plan, paid its full withdrawal liability, and, pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, assumed liability for providing benefits to participants and beneficiaries equal to benefits for such participants and beneficiaries reduced as a result of the financial status of the plan.

Revenue Ruling 2016–05, 2016-8 I.R.B. 344
This revenue ruling provides tables of covered compensation under IRC Section 401(l)(5)(E) and the Income Tax Regulations thereunder, effective January 1, 2016.

REG–125761–14, 2016-7 I.R.B. 322
Proposed regulations that would modify the nondiscrimination requirements for qualified retirement plans under IRC Section 401(a)(4) and would include special rules for retirement plans that provide additional benefits to a grandfathered group of employees following certain changes in the coverage of a defined benefit plan or a defined benefit plan formula. The proposed regulations would also include additional modifications to the nondiscrimination regulations that are applicable to all plans.

REG–147310–12, 2016-7 I.R.B. 336
Proposed regulations that would provide rules relating to the determination of whether the normal retirement age under a governmental plan ivthat is a pension plan satisfies the requirements of section 401(a) and whether the payment of definitely determinable benefits that commence at the plan’s normal retirement age satisfies these requirements. These regulations would affect sponsors and administrators of governmental pension plans, as well as participants in such plans.

Notice 2016–16, 2016-7 I.R.B. 378
Contributions to a IRC Section 401(k) or 401(m) retirement plan must not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. The nondiscrimination rules may be met through a safe harbor structure that includes limits on mid-year changes and a requirement to provide notice to plan participants. This guidance provides that certain types of mid-year changes do not violate these safe harbor rules. The guidance requires additional participant notice and election opportunities for some mid-year changes.

Notice 2016–03, 2016-3 I.R.B. 278
Provides that the Treasury and the IRS will issue guidance with respect to (1) Cycle A elections made by controlled groups and affiliated service groups; (2) expiration dates on determination letters issued prior to January 4, 2016; and (3) the extension of deadlines for certain defined contribution pre-approved plans. Employers may rely on this notice until Rev. Proc. 2007–44, 2007–2 C.B. 54, is updated to include the changes described in this notice.

Revenue Procedure 2016-2, 2016-1 I.R.B. 105
This is the basic, annual EP/EO revenue procedure on technical advice.

Revenue Procedure 2016-4, 2016-1 I.R.B. 142
This is the basic, annual EP/EO revenue procedure on letter rulings.

Revenue Procedure 2016-6, 2016-1 I.R.B. 200
This is the annual EP determination letter revenue procedure.

Revenue Procedure 2016-8, 2016-1 I.R.B. 243
This is the annual EP/EO revenue procedure on user fees.

Notice 2015–84, 2015-52 I.R.B. 880
Provides a list of changes in plan qualification requirements to be used by plan sponsors submitting determination letter applications for plans during the period beginning February 1, 2016 and ending January 31, 2017..

Notice 2015–86, 2015-52 I.R.B. 887
Provides guidance on the application of the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015), to retirement plans qualified under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and to health and welfare plans, including cafeteria plans under section 125 of the Code.

T.D. 9743, 2015-48 I.R.B. 679
Final regulations permitting  a statutory hybrid plan with an interest crediting rate that is not permitted under the final hybrid plan regulations to be amended to comply with the requirement that the plan's interest crediting rate not exceed a market rate of return without violating the anti-cutback rules. These regulations also delay certain applicability dates under the final hybrid plan regulations.

Notice 2015–75, 2015-46 I.R.B. 668
IRC Section 415 provides for dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans. Section 415(d) requires that the Secretary of the Treasury annually adjust these limits for cost of living increases. Other limitations applicable to deferred compensation plans are also affected by these adjustments under Section 415. Under Section 415(d), the adjustments are to be made under adjustment procedures similar to those used to adjust benefit amounts under Section 215(i)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act.

T.D. 9732, 2015-39 I.R.B. 371
Final regulations providing guidance on the determination of minimum required contributions for single-employer defined benefit pension plans and also contain guidance regarding the excise tax for failure to satisfy the minimum funding requirements for defined benefit pension plans.

REG–123640–15, 2015-37 I.R.B. 350
Notice of proposed rulemaking by cross-reference to temporary regulations that relate to multiemployer pension plans that are projected to have insufficient funds, at some point in the future, to pay the full benefits to which individuals will be entitled under the plans (referred to as plans in “critical and declining status”). The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 amended the Internal Revenue Code to incorporate suspension of benefits provisions that permit these multiemployer plans to reduce pension benefits payable to participants and beneficiaries if certain conditions are satisfied. A suspension of benefits is not permitted to take effect prior to a vote of the participants of the plan with respect to the suspension. These regulations contain guidance relating to the administration of that vote.

T.D. 9735, 2015-37 I.R.B. 316
Temporary regulations related to multiemployer pension plans that are projected to have insufficient funds, at some point in the future, to pay the full benefits to which individuals will be entitled under the plans (referred to as plans in “critical and declining status”). A suspension of benefits is not permitted to take effect prior to a vote of the participants of the plan with respect to the suspension. These regulations contain guidance relating to the administration of that vote.

Notice 2015–58, 2015-37 I.R.B. 322
Provides guidance on certain issues relating to the application of the Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act, Pub. L. No. 113–97 (CSEC Act), which specifies minimum funding requirements and related rules that apply with respect to certain defined benefit pension plans maintained by groups of cooperatives and related entities and groups of charities

Notice 2015–53, 2015-33 I,R.B. 190
Provides updated static mortality tables to be used for defined benefit pension plans for purposes of calculating the funding target and other items for valuation dates occurring during calendar year 2016. This notice also includes a modified unisex version of the mortality tables for use in determining minimum present value under IRC Section 417(e)(3) for distributions with annuity starting dates that occur during stability periods beginning in the 2016 calendar year.

Announcement 2015-19, 2015-32 I.R.B. 157
Describes future changes to the determination letter program for qualified individually designed plans and sets forth an intended transition period for certain plans. This announcement requests comments on specific issues relating to the implementation of these changes. This announcement also provides that effective July 21, 2015, the IRS will no longer accept determination letter applications that are submitted off-cycle (except as otherwise described in the announcement).

Notice 2015–49, 2015-30 I.R.B. 79
Informs taxpayers that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to amend the required minimum distribution regulations under IRC Section 401(a)(9) to address the use of lump sum payments to replace annuity payments being paid by a qualified defined benefit pension plan.

Revenue Procedure 2015-36, 2015-27 I.R.B. 20
Sets forth the procedures of IRS for issuing opinion and advisory letters regarding the acceptability under IRC Code Sections 401, 403(a), and 4975(e)(7) of the form of pre-approved plans (that is, master and prototype (M&P) and volume submitter (VS) plans). This revenue procedure also extends to October 30, 2015, the deadline for submitting on-cycle applications for opinion and advisory letters for pre-approved defined benefit plans for the plans’ second six-year remedial amendment cycle. The extension to October 30, 2015, applies to pre-approved defined benefit mass submitter lead and specimen plans, word-for-word identical plans, M&P minor modifier placeholder applications, and defined benefit non-mass submitter plans.

Revenue Procedure 2015-34, 2015-27 I.R.B. 4
Prescribes the application process for approval of a proposed benefit suspension in accordance with IRC Section 432(e)(9)(G) and provides a model notice that a plan sponsor proposing a benefit suspension may use to satisfy the content and readability requirements of IRC Section 432(e)(9)(F)(ii) and (iii)(II). This revenue procedure does not affect the standards that will be applied in reviewing an application for a suspension of benefits under IRC Section 432(e)(9).

Revenue Procedure 2015-32, 2015-24 I.R.B. 1063
Establishes a permanent program providing administrative relief to plan administrators and plan sponsors of certain retirement plans from the penalties otherwise applicable under IRC Sections 6652(e) and 6692 for failing to timely comply with the annual reporting requirements imposed under IRC Sections 6047(e), 6058, and 6059.

REG–102648–15, 2015-31 I.R.B. 134
Proposed regulations related to multiemployer pension plans that are projected to have insufficient funds, at some point in the future, to pay the full benefits to which individuals will be entitled under the plans (referred to as plans in “critical and declining status”). The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 amended the Internal Revenue Code to incorporate suspension of benefits provisions that permit these multiemployer plans to reduce pension benefits payable to participants and beneficiaries if certain conditions are satisfied.. These proposed regulations would affect active, retired, and deferred vested participants and beneficiaries of multiemployer plans that are in critical and declining status as well as employers contributing to, and sponsors and administrators of, those plans.

T.D. 9723, 2015-31 I.R.B. 84
Temporary regulations related to multiemployer pension plans that are projected to have insufficient funds, at some point in the future, to pay the full benefits to which individuals will be entitled under the plans (referred to as plans in “critical and declining status”). The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 amended the Internal Revenue Code to incorporate suspension of benefits provisions that permit these multiemployer plans to reduce pension benefits payable to participants and beneficiaries if certain conditions are satisfied. These temporary regulations affect active, retired, and deferred vested participants and beneficiaries of multiemployer plans that are in critical and declining status as well as employers contributing to, and sponsors and administrators of, those plans.

T.D. 9716, 2015-15 I.R.B. 863
Notice of proposed rulemaking (proposed regulations) in the Federal Register (76 FR 37034, corrected by 76 FR 55321 on September 7, 2011) under IRC Section 162(m). Clarifies Treas. Reg. Section 1.162–27(e)(2)(vi)(A) by requiring plans under which an option or stock appreciation right is granted to specify the maximum number of shares which options or rights may be granted to any individual employee during a specified period. Also clarifies the general transition rule under Regs. 1.162–27(f)(1) for a corporation that becomes a publicly held corporation applies to all compensation other than compensation specifically identified in Regs.1.162–27(f)(3).

Revenue Procedure 2015-28, (EPCRS)
Modifications to Rev. Proc. 2013–12 reflected in this revenue procedure include: (i) A new, special EPCRS safe harbor correction method for IRC Section 401(k) and Section 403(b) plans containing automatic contribution features (including automatic enrollment and automatic escalation of elective deferrals) where there is a problem with missed elective deferrals; and (ii) For all IRC Section 401(k) and Sections 403(b) plans new safe harbor correction methods that encourage early detection and correction of missed elective deferrals.

Revenue Procedure 2015-27 (EPCRS)
Modifications to Rev. Proc. 2013–12 including miscellaneous changes to improve EPCRS, such as reducing VCP compliance fees for IRC Section 72(p) participant loan failures, and clarifying that there is flexibility in how a plan may recoup excess payments made to plan participants and that repayment by these individuals is not always required. See revisions to Rev. Proc. 2013–12 sections 6.06(3) and 6.06(4). This Revenue Procedure also requests comments on recoupment of these excess payments, commonly referred to as Overpayments under EPCRS.

Revenue Procedure 2015-22, (change of addresses for Section 403(b) pre-approved plans letters)
Contains a modification to Revenue Procedure 2013–22 (as modified by Revenue Procedure 2014–28 and modifications to Revenue Procedure 2015–8). In particular, this revenue procedure changes the addresses to which applications for opinion and advisory letters for Section 403(b) pre-approved plans should be submitted and inserts a user fee that was omitted from Rev. Proc. 2015–8.

Notice 2015-28 (certain closed defined benefit pension plans)
Extends for one year the temporary nondiscrimination relief for certain closed defined benefit pension plans provided in Notice 2014-5, so that a closed defined benefit pension plan to which the relief under Notice 2014-5 applies may continue to use the temporary relief for a plan year that begins before January 1, 2017.

Notice 2015-7 (governmental plans)
The IRS and Treasury Department anticipate issuing proposed regulations under IRC Section 414(d) to define the term “governmental plan.” This document describes specific rules that the IRS and Treasury Department are considering proposing that relate to whether a State or local retirement system that covers employees of a charter school is a governmental plan. 2015-6 I.R.B. 585

Announcement 2015-3 (automatic approval of a change in funding method)
Provides automatic approval of a change in funding method for a single-employer defined benefit plan under certain circumstances in which the change in method results from a change in the plan’s enrolled actuary. The automatic approval applies for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2013. 2015-3 I.R.B. 328

Announcement 2015-1 (Changes to processing employee plans determination letters)
Describes changes to the processing of employee plans determination letters that will take effect in 2015. These changes are being adopted as a result of a process improvement strategy designed to promote case processing efficiency.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 24-May-2016