IRS Extends Transitional Relief for Indian Tribal Plans

August 9, 2007 ( - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Notice 2007-67 extending the time Indian Tribal Governments (ITG) have to amend their plans to satisfy requirements for being considered governmental plans.

In the current Notice, the IRS revised the September 30, 2007 deadline for transitional relief established in Notice 2006-89 to “the date that is six months after guidance is issued under Section 414(d) of the Code as amended by section 906 of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA).”

In the previous notice, the IRS said it anticipated issuing guidance on the amended Section 414(d) and that, until the guidance is issued, an ITG plan will be treated as satisfying the requirements to be a governmental plan if it complies with those requirements based on a reasonable and good faith interpretation of the amendment made by section 906(a)(1) of the PPA.

Also in the previous notice, the IRS identified certain approaches that, if taken by September 30, 2007, permit separate plans to be established for commercial ITG employees and for other ITG employees who perform essential governmental functions under the reasonable and good faith compliance standard.

Section 906(a)(1) of the (PPA) amended Section 414(d) with respect to ITG plans to provide that: “The term ‘governmental plan’ includes a plan which is established and maintained by an Indian tribal government, a subdivision of an Indian tribal government, or an agency or instrumentality of either, and all of the participants of which are employees of such entity substantially all of whose services are in the performance of essential governmental functions but not in the performance of commercial activities (whether or not an essential government function).”

Notice 2007-67 is here  

Notice 2006-89 can be accessed via the IRS Web page devoted to PPA guidance (See IRS Devotes Web Page to PPA Info ).