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Rev. Proc. 2019-39: Recurring remedial amendment periods for correcting section 403(b) plans

Rev. Proc. 2019-39: Recurring remedial amendment period

The IRS today released an advance version of Rev. Proc. 2019-39 providing a system of recurring remedial amendment periods for correcting “form defects” in a section 403(b) plan first occurring after March 31, 2020.


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Earlier IRS guidance—Rev. Proc. 2013-22 as modified and clarified by subsequent revenue procedures including Rev. Proc. 2017-18—established a remedial amendment period that permits an “eligible employer” to retroactively correct form defects in its written section 403(b) plan by timely adopting a section 403(b) “pre-approved plan” or, otherwise, by timely amending its section 403(b) individually designed plan. Rev. Proc. 2017-18 provided that March 31, 2020, was the last day of this initial remedial amendment period. Also, Rev. Proc. 2013-22 indicated the IRS expected to issue future guidance to require the restatement of section 403(b) pre-approved plans every six years.

Rev. Proc. 2019-39 [PDF 142 KB] (31 pages) released today sets forth a system of recurring remedial amendment periods for correcting form defects in section 403(b) plans—both for individually designed plans and pre-approved plans—first occurring after the initial remedial amendment period ends on March 31, 2020. Today’s revenue procedure also:

  • Provides a limited extension of the initial remedial amendment period for certain form defects
  • Establishes a system of section 403(b) pre-approved plan cycles under which a section 403(b) pre-approved plan sponsor may submit a proposed section 403(b) pre-approved plan for review and approval by the IRS and that once approved, the section 403(b) pre-approved plan may be made available for adoption by eligible employers
  • Provides deadlines for the adoption of plan amendments for section 403(b) individually designed plans and section 403(b) pre-approved plans
  • Announces that the IRS and Treasury Department intend to issue additional guidance, prior to the date that section 403(b) pre-approved plans may next be submitted for review, relating to the system of recurring remedial amendment periods and the system of recurring section 403(b) pre-approved plan cycles

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