Numerous changes have been made to determination letter procedures

The IRS has issued revised procedures for issuing determination letters on the qualified status of pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus, annuity, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), and the status for exemption of any related trusts or custodial accounts. The revised procedures are effective February 1, 2013.

Part I of the revenue procedure contains instructions for requesting determination letters for various types of plans and transactions. Part II contains procedures for providing notice to interested parties and for interested parties to comment on determination letter requests. Part III contains procedures concerning the processing of determination letter requests and describes the effect of a determination letter.

In addition to minor revisions, the IRS has made several changes throughout the revenue procedure. A modification has been made to add an electronic address for Publication 794. Form 8821 has been added to sections relating to the appropriate forms to include in an application for a determination letter. In addition, the IRS has clarified which plan documents to submit with a determination letter application.

In the section concerning when determination letters are issued, the IRS requires that individually designed plans be restated when they are submitted for determination letter applications. Prior to this year, the submission of a working copy of the plan in a restated format was sufficient. The IRS has revised this section to eliminate the definition of “working copy.” The section involving plan terminations, discontinuance of contributions, and notices of mergers has been changed to state that sample calculations are to be submitted along with Form 6088. Also, in the exhibit for a sample notice to interested parties, the IRS has revised the address where the application will be filed.

Source: IRS Rev. Proc. 2013-6.

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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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