The IRS recently issued Notice 2022-62 to provide the 2022 Required Amendments List (the “RA List”) for qualified retirement plans and certain Section 403(b) plans.
As background, following the elimination of the five-year staggered remedial amendment cycles effective Jan. 1, 2017 — through Rev. Proc. 2016-37 — the IRS changed the timing rules for adopting amendments to existing individually-designed plans, particularly for required amendments. The deadline for required amendments is now based on the RA List, which is published annually by the IRS.
If an item appears on the RA List for a particular year, the plan sponsor must adopt any amendments needed to conform to the item no later than the end of the second calendar year beginning after the item first appears on the list. This timing rule also applies to non-calendar year plans. For example, an amendment required by the 2022 RA List generally must be adopted by the end of the 2024 calendar year, regardless of the plan year.
Note that the deadline for discretionary amendments — i.e., generally those not required as a result of a law change — is typically the last day of the plan year in which the discretionary change is first effective, with potentially earlier deadlines for certain types of discretionary amendments.
The IRS separated the RA List into two parts:
- Part A: Covering changes in requirements that generally would require an amendment to most plans or to most plans of the type affected by the change
- Part B: Covering changes in requirements that the IRS anticipates will not require amendments to most plans but might require an amendment because of an unusual plan provision in a particular plan
The 2022 RA List does not include any required amendments under either Part A or Part B. However, the notice explains that Part B automatically includes the following periodic changes even though they are not directly referenced in the RA List:
- The various dollar limits that are adjusted for cost of living increases under the Code
- The spot segment rates used to determine the applicable interest rate under Section 417(e)(3)
- The applicable mortality table under Section 417(e)(3)
The IRS emphasized that it understands few plans have language that will need to be amended on account of these changes, as most plans incorporate these required changes by reference to the applicable Code sections. In a footnote, the IRS also clarified the amendment deadlines for multiemployer plans that received special financial assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These plans generally must reinstate any suspended benefits, provide make-up payments to affected participants and beneficiaries, and adopt amendments to reflect those payments.
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