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IRS Extends Third-Cycle Submission Period for Pre-Approved Defined Contribution Plan Providers



Rev. Proc. 2018-42 (Aug. 15, 2018)

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The IRS has announced a three-month extension of the deadline for pre-approved defined contribution plan document providers to submit their opinion letter applications for the third six-year remedial amendment cycle. Under Rev. Proc. 2017-41, which combined the separate determination letter programs for master and prototype plans and volume submitter plans into a single program, providers of pre-approved plan documents can apply for new opinion letters once every six years (see our Checkpoint article). The third six-year cycle for defined contribution plans began on February 1, 2017, and is scheduled to end on January 31, 2023. The 12-month window for submitting opinion letter applications opened on October 2, 2017, and was set to close on October 1, 2018. The IRS has now extended the deadline to December 31, 2018; no additional requirements must be met to qualify for the extension.

EBIA Comment: This extension gives providers of pre-approved documents some additional time to modify and submit their documents to the IRS. Only after those documents have been submitted and approved will the document providers make them available for adoption by employers. The guidance does not state any reason for the extension, but it may have been granted, in part, to give document providers more time to incorporate recent legislative changes, including changes to the hardship distribution standards adopted in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (see our Checkpoint article). For more information, see EBIA’s 401(k) Plans manual at Sections XXVII.L (“Pre-Approved Plan: Opinion Letter Program”) and XV (“Distributions: Hardship”).

Contributing Editors: EBIA Staff.

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