(b)lines Ask the Experts – “Gifts” for 403(b) Sponsors

December 18, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR (b)lines) – “Since I think I've been a good little plan sponsor this year, what should I expect as “gifts” from Santa?"

Michael A. Webb, Vice President, Retirement Plan Services, Cammack LaRhette Consulting, answers:  

One significant item that should be on the wish list of all 403(b) plan sponsors was discussed in last week’s column: a 403(b) prototype program (Ask the Experts: Still No Prototype Program) that is as flexible as possible for plan sponsors to use, given the regulatory history of 403(b)s. Though this gift is not likely to be under the tree this year, it would not be unreasonable for Santa to work diligently with his elves to deliver this gift sometime in 2013.    

Another top-of-list item would be a revised version of the IRS’s Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) that would address the spectrum of 403(b) plan defects and possible corrections to same.  Plan sponsors are in need of guidance as to what to do when mistakes are made, and the current EPCRS was written to address defects prior to when the final 403(b) regulations became effective, and thus is of limited use in correcting current and future 403(b) plan errors. A revised EPCRS will presumably not be in plan sponsor’s stockings this year, but again 2013 could certainly be a possibility with some diligent elf effort.    

Finally, plan sponsors could use a Holiday from – more 403(b) regulation! From the final 403(b) regulations, to enhanced annual reporting (5500) requirements, new Form 8955-SSA, and new fee disclosure requirements, the last few years have been quite busy for 403(b) plan sponsors. Thus, if Santa can put in a good word with the IRS, DOL, Congress, etc. that 403(b) plans could use a well-deserved vacation in 2013, I would imagine this would be the greatest gift of all (aside from a new dolly, a WiiU, iPad, etc.).   

From the Experts to all of our readers, we wish you and yours the most joyous of Holiday Seasons!   


NOTE: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.