Written by Amy P. Walters


The IRS has overhauled its determination letter program in a revenue procedure that sweeps away the five-year remedial amendment periods previously used to gauge whether a retirement plan document conformed to the requirements of the Code. The IRS will no longer periodically review individually designed plans, but will only do so upon commencement and termination of the plan. Going forward, individually designed retirement plans will no longer have reliance after the date of the last favorable letter, nor may it seek out a determination from the IRS for any interim amendments thereafter. The IRS will provide an annual “Required Amendments List” and “Operational Compliance List” to help plan sponsors track their plan’s conformity to changes in the law.

Determination letters are essential legal compliance documents for employers who sponsor tax-qualified retirement plans. Click here for additional information about the changes to the determination letter program taking effect in 2017.