Every five to ten years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires retirement plan sponsors to completely re-write their plan document to reflect regulatory and legislative changes. This is referred to as restating the plan. If you had a plan in place during the early 2000s, you may recall having to restate your plan document for new laws dating back to 1993.
After the last restatement period, the IRS established a new process for future plan restatement “cycles” for different types of plans and plan documents. The cycle for defined contribution plans using either prototype or volume submitter plan documents (referred to as “pre-approved” documents) begins later this Spring. Some of the regulatory changes addressed in this upcoming restatement include:
- Economic Growth And Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA)
- Updated Required Minimum Distribution Regulations
- Updated 401(k) Regulations
- Mandatory Distribution/Automatic Rollover Regulations
While these regulatory changes have been addressed through individual plan amendments, the IRS requires the full incorporation of all regulatory and voluntary plan amendments into the main body of the plan document during these restatement cycles.
Restating your plan document is not optional. Not complying with IRS restatement guidelines may result in IRS penalties or the loss of your plan’s tax qualified status.