IRS Releases Required Amendment List for Retirement Plans

On December 4, 2019, the IRS issued Notice 2019-64, which is the 2019 Required Amendments List (RA List) for qualified retirement plans. The yearly RA Lists provide changes in retirement plan qualification requirements that could result in disqualifying provisions and require a remedial amendment. A disqualifying provision is a required provision that isn’t listed in the plan document, a provision in the document that doesn’t comply with the qualification requirements, or a provision that the IRS defines as such.

The RA List is divided into two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A gives changes in qualification requirements that generally will require affected plans to be amended. Part B gives changes that would likely not require amendments to most plans, but might require an amendment because of an unusual plan provision in a particular plan.

This year, Part A includes two changes in requirements that would require plan document amendments. The first requires plan sponsors to amend their plan documents to reflect the recently adopted changes to the hardship distribution rules. Specifically, those changes no longer require employers to suspend employees’ elective deferrals after they’ve taken a hardship distribution or to require that employees represent that they do not have sufficient cash or liquid assets to use for the hardship. The second change requires plan sponsors to amend their plan document to reflect the final rules on cash balance and hybrid defined benefit plans. There are no Part B entries. Notably, this RA list also applies to 403(b) plans.

The remedial amendment deadline for disqualifying provisions resulting from items on the 2019 RA List is December 31, 2021 (or later, for certain governmental plans). Therefore, plan sponsors should determine whether amendments are necessary for their particular retirement plans.

IRS Notice 2019-64 »