2013-2014 IRS Priority Guidance Plan includes many employee benefits projects

Numerous employee benefits projects are included in the IRS’s 2013-2014 Priority Guidance Plan. The Plan describes areas in which the IRS intends to issue final regulations, proposed regulations, and other guidance, including regularly scheduled guidance, such as interest rates and COLAs.

Regs slated to be finalized

In the retirement benefits area, the IRS plans to deliver final regulations on:

• deferred annuities under Code Sec. 401(a)(9);

• suspension or reduction of safe harbor contributions under Code Sec. 401(k) and 401(m);

• treatment of incidental benefits provided under a qualified plan;

• hybrid plans under Code Sec. 411(a)(13) and Code Sec. 411(b)(5), as added by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA; P.L. 109-280);

• the treatment of optional forms of benefit that are paid partly in the form of an annuity and partly in a more accelerated form;

• determination of minimum required contributions under Code Sec. 430, as added by the PPA; and

• designation of Form 8955-SSA as the form to satisfy the Code Sec. 6057 reporting requirements.

Other pension guidance anticipated

Other pension guidance anticipated to be released includes:

• guidance on exceptions to the additional tax under Code

Sec. 72(t) on early distributions from retirement plans and IRAs;

• guidance on distributions disbursed to multiple destinations;

• guidance on issues relating to pension equity plans;

• guidance on rules applicable to ESOPs;

• guidance on governmental plan status under Code Sec. 414(d);

• guidance updating regulations for service credit and vesting under Code Sec. 411; and

• guidance on DB-K plans under Code Sec. 414(x).

Exec comp, health care and other guidance

Also included in the 2013-2014 Priority Guidance Plan are items in the executive compensation, health care and other benefits, and employment taxation areas. Among these items are:

• final regulations on cafeteria plans under Code Sec. 125;
• regulations on the interaction of Code Sec. 4980G and Code

Sec. 125 with respect to comparable employer contributions to employees’ health savings accounts; and

• regulations under Code Sec. 457(f) on ineligible plans.

Source: IRS 2013-2014 Priority Guidance Plan.

For more information on this and related topics, consult the CCH Pension Plan Guide, CCH Employee Benefits Management, and Spencer’s Benefits Reports.

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