The IRS has published Notice 2019-64, which details the 2019 required amendments list for qualified retirement plans.
As the IRS notes, beginning with the 2019 required amendments list, all required amendments lists will apply to both individually designed plans qualified under Section 401(a) and individually designed plans that satisfy the requirements of Section 403(b).
Part A of the Notice details “changes in requirements that generally would require an amendment to most plans or to most plans of the type affected by the change.”
First, the Notice states that final regulations relating to hardship distributions must be addressed.
“Plans (including § 403(b) individually designed plans) that (1) provide for a suspension of an employee’s elective deferrals or employee contributions as a condition for obtaining a hardship distribution of elective deferrals or (2) do not require a representation from an employee who requests a hardship distribution that he or she has insufficient cash or other liquid assets reasonably available to satisfy the need, must be amended as necessary to eliminate the suspension and provide for the representation, for hardship distributions made on or after January 1, 2020,” the Notice states.
The IRS notes that the prohibition on a qualified plan’s or 403(b) plan’s suspension of elective deferrals and employee contributions as a condition for obtaining a hardship distribution of elective deferrals applies not only to the plan making the hardship distribution but also to all of the employer’s other qualified plans, Section 403(b) plans, and, if the employer is an eligible employer described in Section 457(e)(1)(A), eligible deferred compensation plans, as described in Section 457(b).
The second required change is detailed by the IRS as follows: “Collectively bargained cash balance/hybrid defined benefit plans maintained pursuant to one or more collective bargaining agreements ratified on or before November 13, 2015, and which constitute collectively bargained plans under Section 1.436-1(a)(5)(ii)(B), must be amended to the extent necessary to comply with those portions of the regulations regarding market rate of return and other requirements that first became applicable to the plan for the plan year beginning on or after the later of (1) January 1, 2017, and (2) the earlier of (a) January 1, 2019, and (b) the date on which the last of those collective bargaining agreements terminates.”
The IRS notes that the relief from the anti-cutback requirements of Section 411(d)(6) provided in Section 1.411(b)(5)-1(e)(3)(vi) applies only to plan amendments that are adopted before the effective date of those regulations.
Part B of the IRS Notice details “other changes in requirements that may require an amendment,” of which this year there are actually none.
Generally, December 31, 2021, is the last day of the remedial amendment period with respect to a disqualifying provision arising as a result of a change in qualification requirements that appears on the 2019 required amendment list and a form defect arising as a result of a change in Section 403(b) requirements that appears on the 2019 required amendment list. In addition, under section 8.01 of Revenue Procedure 2016-37 and section 6.01 of Revenue Procedure 2019-39, December 31, 2021, generally is also the plan amendment deadline for a disqualifying provision arising as a result of a change in qualification requirements that appears on the list and for a form defect arising as a result of a change in Section 403(b) requirements that appears on the 2019 list. Later dates may apply to a governmental plan.
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