The IRS Backs Off on Finalized 403(b) Regulations

As I have stated I sometimes do advanced estate and retirement planning so I am not sure how many people will find this information useful, but hell its my blog so I’ll share it anyway!  Specifically, this information is for those people who run or are involved in a small 403(b).

Put very very very simply the IRS last Final 403(b) regulations were published on July 26, 2007 (full regulations HERE), and they were generally to become effective on Jan 1, 209.  For the most part the regulations said…if you have a 403(b) plan it has to be written down and follow certain rules. Again, I am generalizing 133 pages of detailed IRS Regulations.

Well, we have a planner in the offfice that does a lot of work with churches and small schools so this became a big deal especially as we are finishing up the year.

I am going to have to assume the IRS was sick of the phone calls from non-profits, churches and schools, questioning what the heck they were supposed to do!  So they came out with a Statement titled, “Relief from Immediate Compliance  with 2009 403(b) Written Plan Requirement” which states,

Final regulations under § 403(b) were published on July 26, 2007 (72 Fed. Reg. 41128) (the final regulations). Effective January 1, 2009, sponsors of § 403(b) plans are generally required to maintain a written plan that satisfies, in both form and operation, the requirements of the final regulations. Although many sponsors of § 403(b) plans have already adopted a written § 403(b) plan, the Service and Treasury are aware that some sponsors may not have a written § 403(b) plan in place by January 1, 2009.

Further, there is no current program under which a plan sponsor can obtain assurance that the written form of its plan satisfies § 403(b), other than through a private letter ruling. The Service and Treasury have therefore concluded that compliance with the final regulations would be facilitated by the establishment of both pre-approved and individually designed plan programs and that transition relief should be provided to all § 403(b) plan sponsors who have made appropriate efforts to comply with the written plan requirement in the final regulations.

In English – You have another year to fix this problem that you have been running around trying to fix if you follow some simple rules.

Sorry if this was a bore fest for anyone out there looking for more budgeting info!

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