IRS Unveils 403(b) Guides

May 23, 2006 ( - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released two publications designed to help 403(b) participants and their plan sponsors better navigate through the laws and rules regarding their retirement savings programs.

The new IRS offerings include:

  • A Guide for Participants in a 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan , a 6-page document that features a discussion about contribution limits, distributions and rollovers, loan limitations and requirements for hardship withdrawals. The booklet includes a summary of 403(b) plan rules as well as a list of other relevant IRS publications.“As a 403(b) plan participant, you need to pay attention to the operation of your 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity so that you can: be compliant with the law, maximize your retirement benefits, and avoid additional taxes and penalties,” the IRS said in the booklet.
  • A Guide for Sponsors to the 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan , a 6-page book aimed at plan sponsors. Among other items, the IRS offering includes a discussion of common sponsor mistakes such as failure to limit employee elective deferrals as well as failure to carry out a timely return of excess elective deferrals and earnings.“It is important to know the tax rules applicable to a 403(b) plan to: 1) help you comply with the tax law; and 2) help you ensure that your employees get the maximum benefit out of your 403(b) plans.”

The participant book is here .

The plan sponsor book is here .