2017 Required Amendments List Issued by IRS

The agency began issuing these lists when it ended the determination letter program for individually designed retirement plans.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2017-72 containing the required amendments list for 2017 (2017 RA List).

In Revenue Procedure 2016-37 the agency eliminated, as of January 1, 2017, the five-year remedial amendment cycle system for individually designed plans, and also provided that the Department of the Treasury and the IRS intend to publish annually an RA List.

The agency notes that an RA List does not include guidance issued or legislation enacted after the list has been prepared and also does not include:

  • Statutory changes in qualification requirements for which the Treasury Department and the IRS expect to issue guidance (which would be included on an RA List issued in a future year);
  • Changes in qualification requirements that permit (but do not require) optional plan provisions (in contrast to changes in the qualification requirements that cause existing plan provisions, which may include optional plan provisions previously adopted, to become disqualifying provisions); or
  • Changes in the tax laws affecting qualified plans that do not change the qualification requirements under Section 401(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (such as changes to the tax treatment of plan distributions, or changes to the funding requirements for qualified plans).

The 2017 RA List is light on items. It is divided into two parts. Part A covers changes in qualification requirements that generally would require an amendment to most plans or to most plans of the type affected by the change. Listed under Part A are final regulations regarding cash balance/hybrid plans and benefit restrictions for certain defined benefit (DB) plans that are eligible cooperative plans or eligible charity plans described in section 104 of the Pension Protection Act (PPA).

Part B includes changes in qualification requirements that the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate will not require amendments to most plans, but might require an amendment because of an unusual plan provision in a particular plan. The list only mentions final regulations regarding partial annuity distribution options for DB plans.