Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System
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IRS Expands Self-Correction Program, Provides Welcome Relief for Plan Sponsors

The IRS recently released an updated version of EPCRS, the IRS’s program for correcting errors that occur under tax-qualified retirement plans. The latest version of EPCRS makes it easier for plan sponsors to self-correct certain types of plan loan, operational and plan document failures without filing a VCP submission. Access the full article.

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ESOPs: What Not To Do (and If You Did, How to Correct It)

In a presentation for the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) Conference, Emily Rickard presented on ESOP plan design, operation and administration. She, along with the other presenters, identified ERISA compliance watchdogs including the plaintiff’s bar, Department of Treasury and Department of Labor, and what attracts their attention when it comes to audits. Emily also identified common mistakes employers make during the entire ESOP lifecycle (e.g. lack of employee communication, distribution strategy and planning) and provided guidance on how to correct those mistakes. View the full presentation.

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IRS Corrections Go Digital in 2019

Late last month, the IRS released the latest version of its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, the IRS’s program for correcting retirement plan errors. The newest version of the correction program—effective beginning in 2019—includes mostly minor changes and clarifications. Most importantly, however, it requires electronic filing of Voluntary Correction Program submissions beginning April 1, 2019. Access the full article.

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New VCP Compliance Fees Will Increase the Cost of Correcting Some of the Most Common Plan Errors

Last month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Revenue Procedure 2018-4, which modified the user fee schedule for submissions under the IRS’s Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). Under the new fee schedule, all VCP compliance fees are now based on the total net plan assets reported on a plan’s annual Form 5500-series return. This means that for VCP submissions filed on or after January 2, 2018, compliance fees will be: $1,500 for plans with assets of $500,000 or less; $3,000 for plans with assets of over $500,000 to $10,000,000; and $3,500 for plans with assets of over $10,000,000. Prior to January 2, 2018, compliance fees were generally based on the total number of plan participants reported on a plan’s Form 5500, and ranged from $500 (for plans with 20 or fewer participants) to as much as $15,000 (for plans with 10,000 or more participants). In addition, special reduced compliance fees applied to VCPs involving some of the most common plan failures...

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ERISA Basics National Institute: Section 401(k) Plans

A 401(k) plan has a qualified cash or deferred arrangement that is part of a profit sharing plan or stock bonus plan. Under the Internal Revenue Code Section 401(k)(2), an employee may elect to make contributions to the plan, the covered employee’s contributions are not distributable before severance from employment, disability, death, attainment of age 59 ½, financial hardship, or termination of the plan, and under which the covered employee’s contributions are nonforfeitable. This presentation will address the following objectives: Who gets the money? What money do they receive? Where does the money go? When do they get the money? How is the money administered? View the presentations slides.

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IRS Announces Major Changes to Its Determination Letter Program for Individually Designed Retirement Plans

On July 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Announcement 2015-19 (the Announcement), which ends the five-year remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans effective January 1, 2017.  For remedial amendment cycles beginning after 2016, plan sponsors will no longer be able to apply for determination letters on their individually designed defined contribution and defined benefit plans, except for initial qualification and qualification upon termination. Effective on the Announcement date, off-cycle requests for determination letters will no longer be accepted. The IRS intends to publish additional guidance periodically, and seeks comments on the upcoming changes. Click here to read the full On the Subject.

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IRS Updates EPCRS Correction Methods and Procedures

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued two updates which modify the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), which is the comprehensive system for correction of retirement plan failures. EPCRS now allows plans with automatic contribution features to use a new safe harbor to correct certain deferral failures, provides more flexible correction provisions on overpayments and excess annual additions, and reduces certain correction filing fees. Read the full article.

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IRS Updates Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System

by Lisa K. Loesel, Mary K. Samsa and Kary Crassweller The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently updated the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the comprehensive system of correction programs for sponsors of qualified retirement plans.  The components of EPCRS continue to be the Self-Correction Program, the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) and the Audit Closing Agreement Program.  This newsletter describes some of the significant changes to EPCRS, including revisions to the VCP submission procedures and enhanced access for 403(b) plans. To read the full article, click here.

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