Changes and Clarifications to the Determination Letter Program

As you may know, the requirements for obtaining a favorable determination letter for a “qualified” retirement plan are prescribed in detail by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in published guidance. On Jan. 3, 2012, the IRS published the latest version of that guidance, Revenue Procedure 2012-6, which updates and clarifies the procedures for issuing determination letters.

These changes, which are effective Feb. 1, 2012 (May 1, 2012, for terminating and pre-approved plans), are designed, among other things, to eliminate features of the program that the IRS believes will improve efficiency by reducing the processing time for determination letter applications. The following is a summary of the changes to the program.

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