Updated Retirement Plan Correction Procedures

Revenue Procedure 2018-52, released September 28, 2018:

• modifies the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS),
• replaces Revenue Procedure 2016-51,
• is effective as of January 1, 2019, and
• significantly changes how Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) submissions are made to the IRS. 

New process for making submissions to the Voluntary Correction Program

  • Beginning January 1, 2019, and ending March 31, 2019, applicants have the choice to make VCP submissions to the IRS by:
    • Using Pay.gov, or
    • Continuing to make paper submissions by following the procedures in Sections 10 and 11 of Rev. Proc. 2016-51. Don’t forget to include a paper check for the user fee.
      • If making a paper submission, applicants must use the November 2017 version of Form 8950, Application for Voluntary Corrections Program (VCP), and the September 2016 version of Form 8951, User Fee for Application for Voluntary Correction Program (VCP).
  • Beginning April 1, 2019, all VCP submissions must be made using Pay.gov. Paper submissions mailed to the IRS on or after this date won’t be processed and will be returned.
  • Filing within Pay.gov is completely electronic. The VCP submission, including payment of the user fee is made using Pay.gov.
  • The electronic filing process requires you to:
    • Establish an account on Pay.gov.
    • Become familiar with the instructions for the January 2019 revision of Form 8950, Application for Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) Submission Under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System.
    • Gather attachments and documents required by Rev. Proc. 2018-52, Section 11.04, convert them into PDF documents and combine them into a single file that doesn’t exceed 15 MB.
    • Go to Pay.gov to complete and sign Form 8950 and upload the PDF file containing the VCP submission documents.
    • Pay the user fee through the available electronic payment method options on Pay.gov, and get a receipt that is your confirmation that you made a VCP submission to the IRS.
  • Fax any other required documents that could not be included in the PDF file to the IRS at 855-203-6996. Be sure to include the Pay.gov Tracking ID number, as well as the applicant’s EIN, and the names of the applicant and plan on the fax coversheet.

Properly authorized representatives may file a VCP submission

A plan sponsor can authorize a legal representative to sign and submit a VCP submission on its behalf using Pay.gov. Be sure the following documents are part of the uploaded PDF file:

  • A special penalty of perjury statement signed by the plan sponsor that states "Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this submission, including accompanying documents, and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the facts presented in support of this submission are true, correct, and complete."
  • A complete Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, that provides the necessary authorization. Complete items 3 and 5 as follows:
    • Item 3, Description of matters - enter “Voluntary Correction Program submission per Rev. Proc. 2018-52”, Tax Form Number is “8950” and Years or Periods is left blank. 
    • Item 5, Additional acts authorized - check the box next to Other acts authorized and enter “The signing and filing of the Form 8950 and accompanying documents as part of a VCP submission.”

Summary of other modifications:

  • 457(b) - Submission requests involving 457(b) plans must be submitted using Pay.gov.
  • Fees - Minor revisions include:
    • Refer to the annual Employee Plans revenue procedure that sets forth user fees to determine VCP user fees for that year.
    • Removed outdated language from a few sections that were inconsistent with the VCP user fee structure set forth in Rev. Proc. 2018-4 (and its annual successors).
  • Audit CAP - Clarified that plan sponsors may use available payment methods to pay Audit CAP sanctions when using Pay.gov, updated citations for procedural rules, and removed some outdated provisions.


Several items in Rev. Proc. 2016-51 were revised to update citations or cross-references, and to provide additional clarity and fixing of some typographical errors.

Submit comments on improvements to EPCRS

The IRS continues to solicit comments from the public on expanding EPCRS correction rules to provide additional guidance on the recovery or recoupment of overpayments, make improvements to the Self-Correction Program and VCP. 

Effective date

The revenue procedure is effective January 1, 2019. Plan sponsors may not elect to apply provisions before January 1, 2019.  Plan sponsors have the option to continue to make paper VCP submissions to the IRS if mailed on or before March 31, 2019. As of April 1, 2019, all VCP submissions, including the payment of user fees must be made using Pay.gov.

EPCRS revenue procedures superseded

  • Generally, Rev. Proc. 2016-51 no longer applies as of January 1, 2019
  • However, plan sponsors are permitted to file paper VCP submissions mailed to the IRS from January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2019, using the procedures in Sections 10 and 11 of Rev. Proc. 2016-51.