New Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance expands the availability of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) distributions and loans under eligible retirement plans, and it provides important clarifications regarding how to administer and report CARES Act distributions and loans. The guidance also provides welcome relief for a participant who receives a CARES Act distribution, allowing the participant to revoke an otherwise irrevocable salary deferral election under a nonqualified deferred compensation plan. Finally, consistent with prior guidance, the new IRS guidance confirms that CARES Act provisions are optional, meaning that plan sponsors may choose whether to implement CARES Act changes.
Agreements that require a release or other signed document from an employee before payment should be reviewed to ensure compliance with Code Section 409A guidance. Transition relief ends on December 31, 2012, and the penalties for noncompliance can be harsh. Employers that conducted a fulsome Code Section 409A review in 2007 and 2008 should ensure their arrangements are in compliance with new guidance.
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