2017-2018 IRS Priority Guidance Plan includes many employee benefits projects

Numerous employee benefits projects are included in the IRS’s 2017-2018 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. The Plan also includes burden reduction projects. The IRS notes that, as in the past, it intends to update the Plan on a quarterly basis, and that it will be guided by burden-reducing principles and policies.

Regs slated to be finalized

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

  • The application of the normal retirement age regulations under Code Sec. 401(a) to governmental plans;
  • Qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) and qualified matching contributions (QMACs); and
  • Updates to the minimum present value requirements for defined benefit plans under Code Sec. 417(e).

Other pension guidance anticipated

Other pension guidance anticipated to be released includes:

  • Regulations on rules applicable to ESOPs;
  • Regulations under Code Sec. 401(a)(9) on the use of lump-sum payments to replace lifetime income being received by retirees under defined benefit plans;
  • Regulations under Code Secs. 219, 408, 408A, and 4973 regarding IRAs;
  • Guidance updating regulations for service credits and vesting under Code Sec. 411;
  • Guidance on the treatment of future interest credits under a hybrid defined benefit plan for qualification requirements;
  • Guidance related to church plans;
  • Regulations on the definition of governmental plan under Code Sec. 414(d);
  • Guidance regarding the aggregation rules under Code Sec. 414(m);
  • Regulations relating to the reporting requirements under Code Sec. 6057;
  • Revenue procedure modifying the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS); and
  • Guidance on missing participants.

Exec comp, health care and other guidance

Also included in the 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan are items in the executive compensation, health care and other benefits, and employment taxation areas. Among these items are:

  • Regulations under Code Secs. 119 and 132 on employer-provided meals;
  • Guidance under Code Sec. 162(m) addressing certain situations involving a short taxable year;
  • Final regulations on income inclusion and other issues under Code Sec. 409A;
  • Regulations amending Reg. Sec. 1.419A-2T relating to collectively-bargained welfare benefit funds;
  • Final regulations under Code Sec. 457(f) and related guidance on ineligible plans; and
  • Guidance on issues under Code Sec. 4980H relating to shared responsibility for employers regarding health coverage.

Source: 2017-2018 Priority Guidance Plan.
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