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2022 Required Amendments List Includes No Changes in Qualification Requirements

EBIA  

EBIA  

IRS Notice 2022-62 (Nov. 21, 2022)

Available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-22-62.pdf

The IRS has issued its 2022 Required Amendments List (RA List) for individually designed qualified retirement plans (including 401(k) plans) and 403(b) plans. This year’s list does not identify any qualification changes that require plan amendments.

RA Lists are issued annually to identify changes in the Code’s qualification requirements that may result in “disqualifying provisions” that necessitate a remedial amendment (see our Checkpoint article). (A disqualifying provision is a required provision that is not in the plan document, a provision in the document that does not comply with the Code’s qualification requirements, or a provision that the IRS so designates.) RA Lists are usually divided into two parts. Part A lists changes in qualification requirements that require most plans of the relevant type to be amended. Part B lists changes that should only require amendments for certain plans with unusual plan provisions affected by the changes. Periodic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to various dollar limitations do not appear on the annual RA List but are treated as if they are included. Many plans do not need to be amended to reflect these periodic COLAs. (For the 2023 COLAs, see our Checkpoint article.)

EBIA Comment: While this year’s RA List does not specify changes, that does not necessarily mean that 401(k) plan sponsors have no amendments to adopt. The RA List does not cover discretionary plan amendments, which generally must be adopted by the end of the plan year in which discretionary plan design or operational changes are implemented, except for certain discretionary amendments that must be adopted before they are implemented (such as amendments relating to elective deferral and safe harbor provisions, and amendments subject to the anti-cutback rule). And employers that decide to offer certain types of disaster relief under their plans may need to amend their plans before the deadlines set by disaster-specific IRS guidance, even though disaster-related amendments are not included on the RA List. For example, the deadline for retroactive amendments to conform a plan to the distribution, loan, and required minimum distribution relief enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (originally, the last day of the first plan year beginning in 2022) was recently extended to December 31, 2025 (see our Checkpoint article). (Later dates may apply to governmental plans.) For more information, see EBIA’s 401(k) Plans manual at Sections XXVII.E (“Amendment Timing: Overview”) and XXVII.G.1.b (“Required Amendments (RA) List of Statutory and Administrative Changes in Qualification Requirements”).

Contributing Editors: EBIA Staff.

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