IRS extends retirement plan amendment deadlines

Executive summary 

The IRS issued two notices outlining changes to the due dates for qualified retirement plan amendments resulting from the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act), the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (Miners Act), and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Relief Act). Plan sponsors now have additional time to coordinate with their legal counsel and third-party administrators to incorporate the necessary amendments to plan documents required by these Acts.

Extended amendment deadlines

With the issuance of Notice 2022-33 on Aug. 3, 2022 and Notice 2022-45 on Sept. 26, 2022, the IRS heeded pleas for extensions of time to incorporate certain legislative amendments resulting from the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act), the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (Miners Act), and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Relief Act). 

Extensions under Notice 2022-33

Plan sponsors of non-governmental qualified retirement plans originally had until the last day of the plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2022 in order to amend their plan documents to reflect the operational changes from these acts (IRAs, governmental plans, and 403(b) plans maintained by public schools had different due dates).

Specifically, the amendments were necessary to reflect the updated operations of the plan to comply with:

  1. All provisions of the SECURE Act,
  2. Section 104(a) of the Miners Act, which amended the minimum age for in-service withdrawals from a defined benefit pension plan from age 62 to age 59½, and
  3. Section 2203(a) of the CARES Act, which provided a waiver of required minimum distributions for defined contribution plans and IRAs for the 2020 plan year. 

In general, plan sponsors of non-governmental qualified retirement plans (excluding 403(b) plans maintained by public schools) and IRAs now have until Dec. 31, 2025 to incorporate these amendments. Other plans, such as governmental retirement plans, have later extended deadlines. 

Extensions under Notice 2022-45

The IRS later issued Notice 2022-45 to extend the deadlines for incorporating amendments with respect to:

  1. Section 2202 of the CARES Act, which provided temporary relief for coronavirus-related distributions made during the 2020 calendar year, increased the amount of loans that could be drawn against the plan between Mar. 27, 2020 and Sept. 23, 2020, and allowed the suspension of plan loan repayments between Mar. 27, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020.
  2. Section 302 of the Relief Act, which provided favorable tax treatment to individuals who withdrew qualified disaster distributions before June 25, 2021.

Most qualified plans and IRAs originally had until the last day of the plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2022 in order to incorporate these provisions. With the passage of Notice 2022-45, non-governmental qualified plan and IRA plan sponsors now have until Dec. 31, 2025 to incorporate these changes. Section 457(b) plans and governmental plans have alternative deadlines.

Takeaway

The relief provided under both of these notices is valuable for plan sponsors who have been waiting on additional guidance from the IRS on several issues addressed in these Acts. With the release of Notice 2022-45, amendments for these Acts now have the same deadlines.

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This article was written by Lauren Sanchez, Christy Fillingame and originally appeared on Sep 30, 2022.
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