IRS Expands Determination Program for 403(b) Plans

The IRS has issued Revenue Procedure 2022-40, which permits the submission of determination letter applications for 403(b) individually designed plans. Beginning June 1, 2023, plan sponsors that maintain 403(b) individually designed plans can submit a determination letter application for an initial plan determination, for a determination upon plan termination, for certain merged plans, or for other circumstances that will be announced later in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.

The date on which an application may be submitted for an initial plan determination is staggered over three dates (June 1, 2023, June 1, 2024, and June 1, 2025), depending on the last digit of the plan sponsor’s employer identification number.

Under the revised rules, the IRS generally will consider the qualification requirements and the 403(b) requirements that are in effect, or that have been included, on a required amendments list, on or before the last day of the second calendar year preceding the year in which the determination letter application is submitted. Additionally, a prior letter issued to a pre-approved plan adopter is not treated as an initial plan determination. For example, a determination letter issued to an adopter of a pre-approved retirement plan as a result of filing Form 5307, Application for Determination for Adopters of Modified Volume Submitter Plans, is no longer considered in determining whether a plan sponsor is eligible to submit that plan for a determination letter for an initial plan determination on Form 5300, Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan.

The IRS indicates that it will release additional procedural requirements and forms updates in the near future.