October 31, 2012
Authored by: benefitsbclp
It’s time to ensure year-end qualified plan deadlines are satisfied. Below is a checklist designed to help employers with this process.
A. QUALIFIED PLAN AMENDMENTS
The deadline for adopting the amendments listed below is the last day of the plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2012. For calendar year plans, the deadline is December 31, 2012. Note that some of the provisions became effective and required operational compliance prior to 2012. Plan sponsors should review their plans’ administration to ensure that the plans have been operated in compliance with the applicable provision.
1. DEFINED BENEFIT PLANS
□ Code § 436 Funding Based Benefit Restrictions. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”) added Section 436, which imposes restrictions on distributions and benefit accruals based on the funding status of a defined benefit plan, to the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”). Plans that do not meet certain funding targets must limit benefit accruals, cannot be amended to increase benefit liabilities, and must limit certain forms of benefit payments. These provisions are effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2007. In Notice 2011-96, the IRS extended the due date for adopting the amendment to the last day of the plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2012 and provided sample language for the amendment.
□ Cash Balance and Hybrid Plans. PPA made several changes affecting cash balance and hybrid pension plans, including requiring three-year vesting and prohibiting interest credits at an