IRS Issues 2019 Required Amendments List

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Each year, the IRS issues a Required Amendments List (RA List) for individually designed qualified retirement plans which includes statutory and administrative changes that are first effective during the year in which the list is published and changes in requirements that were effective in a prior year but not included in a prior RA List. Generally, the remedial amendment deadline for changes in an RA List is the end of the second calendar year following the calendar year in which the RA List is issued. The 2019 Required Amendments List (2019 RA List) was issued by the IRS on December 4, 2019, in IRS Notice 2019-64. The changes required by the 2019 RA List must be made by December 31, 2021, unless otherwise noted.

The 2019 RA List identifies one qualification change for 401(k) plans, the final hardship distribution regulations. These regulations also affect 403(b) plans and certain 457(b) plans. Plans that provide for a suspension of an employee’s elective deferrals or employee contributions as a condition for obtaining a hardship distribution of elective deferrals, or that do not require a representation from an employee who requests a hardship distribution that he or she does not otherwise have sufficient cash or liquid assets on hand, must be amended to eliminate the suspension and provide for the representation for hardship distributions made on or after January 1, 2020.

Also, certain collectively bargained cash balance/hybrid defined benefit plans must be amended to comply with regulations regarding market rate of return and other requirements.

Notice 2019-64 also reminds 403(b) plan sponsors that March 31, 2020, is the deadline for adopting amendments to correct form defects first occurring on or before March 31, 2020, and notes that IRS Revenue Procedure 2019-39 establishes a system of recurring remedial amendment periods for individually designed 403(b) plans going forward.

The 2019 RA List of required changes, and RA Lists for 2016-2018, are available on the IRS website at irs.gov/retirement-plans/required-amendments-list. The required changes with a December 31, 2019 amendment deadline are found in the RA List for 2017, IRS Notice 2017-72.

If you have questions about the required amendments in the 2019 RA List for a 401(k) plan, a 403(b) plan, or a 457(b) plan, or if you would like to discuss specific deadlines, please let us know.

Key Contributors

Bruce J. McNeil
Bethany A. Bacci
Jeffrey M. Krueger
Cheryl Musselman
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