IRS Lays Out Minimum Funding Waiver Request Process

January 30, 2004 ( - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided guidance to plan sponsors on how to request a waiver of minimum funding standards of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 412(d) or Section 303 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Revenue Procedure 2004-15 provides an address and all the necessary details for a plan sponsors to follow when applying for a waiver.   While outlined below, the Procedure includes a checklist in Appendix B for easy reference for the plan sponsor.  

In order to be considered for such a waiver, the plan sponsor must provide to the agency proof that the company making the minimum funding standard would adverse to plan participants.   To establish the possibility of adversity to participants, a plan sponsors must submit to the IRS seven documents, or a statement indicating why the material for a particular subsection is inapplicable.   This includes:

  • general facts about the company
  • financial condition of the employer
  • executive Compensation arrangements
  • nature and extent of the business hardship
  • facts concerning the pension plan
  • other pension, profit?sharing, or stock bonus plans
  • other miscellaneous information outlined in the procedure.

All waiver requests – for plans other than multiemployer plans – must be submitted no later than the 15th day of the 3rd month following the close of the plan year for which the waiver is requested.   In order to ensure proper procurement of all the necessary documentation, the agency advises a request not be submitted earlier than 180 days prior to the end of the plan year for which the waiver is requested.

This revenue procedure is effective for all ruling requests received after February 17, 2004, the date of its publication in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.   A copy of Revenue Procedure 2004-15 can be found at .