The IRS has made several important changes to its determination letter program for employee retirement plans. The changes, which will take effect in 2012, eliminate features of the determination letter program that are of limited utility to plan sponsors in comparison with the burdens they impose. The changes are also expected to reduce the time it takes the IRS to process determination letter applications.

The changes will be reflected in Revenue Procedure 2012-6, which will set forth the procedures for issuing determination letters on the qualified status of employee plans. The changes eliminate elective demonstrations regarding coverage and nondiscrimination requirement and provide that only employers that have made limited modifications to a preapproved volume submitter plan may file Form 5307.

In addition, the IRS expects to revise the language of opinion and advisory letters to clarify the circumstances in which these letters are equivalent to a determination letter.

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Contact MCB’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Practice Leader, Charles Deppe, at 703-218-3600 or email with your benefit plan questions or to request a proposal for your next review or audit.

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