Our April 2013 client alert IRS Finalizes Program for Pre-Approval of 403(b) Plan Documents discussed the establishment of the IRS program for pre-approval of prototype and volume submitter 403(b) plan documents which was first announced in 2009 (the "Program").  This client alert updates that discussion in light of the modifications to the Program announced on March 25, 2014 (the "Modified Program") under Revenue Procedure 2014-28.

Under the Modified Program:

  • The deadline for submissions is extended from April 30, 2014 to April 30, 2015.
  • Vendors who expect a plan to be adopted by at least 15 employers (previously, 30) may submit the applicable plan document(s) to the IRS for pre-approval.
  • Vendors who are mass submitters have an additional option for submitting volume submitter specimen plans.

The terms of the Program remain in effect to the extent not superseded by the Modified Program.

Employers who adopted a written plan document prior to December 31, 2009 may adopt a pre-approved 403(b) plan to  cure any documentary defects.  Employers who have not yet executed a written 403(b) plan document will need to consider use of the correction procedure under the IRS' Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System ("EPCRS") described in our prior client alert New IRS Program for Retroactive Adoption of 403(b) Plan Documents.  (This correction procedure remains available at the standard EPCRS fee now that the reduced fee has expired.)  Similarly, plan sponsors that are aware of specific defects with respect their current 403(b) plan may wish to review additional correction procedures available under EPCRS.