Many employers that sponsor a retirement plan, such as a Section 401(k) plan, rely on a bank, broker, insurance company or similar party to provide them with the legal document that sets forth the terms of the plan, known as the plan document. These parties are referred to as “providers” in the document.
In Rev. Proc. 2017-41
, the IRS sets forth detailed procedures on how providers may obtain an opinion letter from the IRS on the plan documents they provide to employers. An opinion letter is viewed as very valuable because it states that the plan complies in written form with all of the necessary requirements for the plan under the Internal Revenue Code. In addition to addressing the procedures for obtaining opinion letters, the revenue procedure addresses certain other related matters, such as the degree to which employers may rely on an opinion letter and procedures and standards regarding amendments to the plans.
In addition, in Notice 2017-37
, the IRS issued the 2017 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements for Pre-Approved Defined Contribution Plans. This list identifies recent changes in requirements for plans that will be considered by the IRS in its review of plan documents for the purpose of issuing opinion letters.
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