The IRS has introduced this governmental plan web page as part of an initiative to better serve our customers in the governmental plan community. This web page will offer guidance, tools, educational materials, news, and other resources that we hope will be of particular interest and assistance to section 401(a) governmental plans in maintaining compliance with the applicable federal tax-qualification requirements. Please check back frequently for updates to this page.
A governmental plan is defined in section 414(d) of the Code generally as a section 401(a) retirement plan established and maintained for its employees by the government of:
The United States
A state or political subdivision, or
An agency or instrumentality of the United States or state or political subdivision.
Although such governmental plans are generally exempted from ERISA and a number of Code requirements, such plans must still satisfy certain requirements in order to ensure favorable tax treatment to the participants in such plans.
Governmental plans, like other tax-qualified section 401(a) plans, may request a determination letter as to whether the form of the plan document satisfies the applicable tax qualification requirements. Under the new staggered determination letter process, such plans would generally file during Cycle C which is currently open and runs from February 1, 2008, until January 31, 2009. For more information concerning the determination letter process, see:
The Internal Revenue Service also has a program that permits plans to voluntarily correct certain errors. For more information concerning this correction program, see Correcting Plan Errors.
The Dialogue has Begun…Governmental Plans Roundtable, April 22, 2008
IRS Employee Plans hosted a Governmental Plans Roundtable on April 22, 2008, for members of the governmental plans community to begin a dialogue on how to best ensure that these plans satisfy the applicable qualification requirements while also identifying and addressing those unique issues that raise special challenges for governmental plans. See March 2008 Special Edition of the Employee Plans News announcing the Roundtable and the Spring 2008 Edition of the Employee Plans News for comments from the TE/GE Division Commissioner on the Roundtable.
The following sessions were presented at the Roundtable:
Navigating the Staggered Remedial Amendment Period
– A general guide for Section 414(d) Governmental Plans – This presentation is a guide that can be used by a governmental plan to obtain a favorable determination letter on the tax-qualified status of a governmental plan.
EPCU and Examinations Efforts
– An overview of Employee Plans Examinations with specific emphasis on the Employee Plans Compliance Unit and its roles in the Examinations function.
EPCRS & Governmental Plans
– An overview of the IRS EPCRS correction procedures and how governmental plans can use these procedures to fix issues related to its plans.
Retirement Plans FAQs regarding Governmental Plans and EPCRS
Useful information concerning governmental plans and the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS).
Retirement Plans FAQs regarding Governmental Plan Determination Letters
Frequently asked questions regarding governmental plan determination letters.
Employee Plans News - Special Edition - November 2008
IRS Will Modify Filing Cycle for Governmental Plans Under the Staggered Remedial Amendment Program
Employee Plans News - Special Edition - May 2008
Governmental Plans Roundtable Discussion - an overview of the discussion held by the IRS on April 22, 2008.
The Dialogue Continues…
Employee Plans is committed to continuing the dialogue with the governmental plan community. The community is invited to join in the conversation. Submit questions, comments, and suggestions to email@example.com. Though questions will not be addressed individually, the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) will be posted to this page.