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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 6, 2020

Title 26Chapter ISubchapter APart 1 → §1.401(b)-1


Title 26: Internal Revenue
PART 1—INCOME TAXES (CONTINUED)


§1.401(b)-1   Certain retroactive changes in plan.

(a) General rule. Under section 401(b) a stock bonus, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, or bond purchase plan which does not satisfy the requirements of section 401(a) on any day solely as a result of a disqualifying provision (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section) shall be considered to have satisfied such requirements on such date if, on or before the last day of the remedial amendment period (as determined under paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) of this section) with respect to such disqualifying provision, all provisions of the plan which are necessary to satisfy all requirements of sections 401(a), 403(a), or 405(a) are in effect and have been made effective for all purposes for the whole of such period. Under some facts and circumstances, it may not be possible to amend a plan retroactively so that all provisions of the plan which are necessary to satisfy the requirements of section 401(a) are in fact made effective for the whole remedial amendment period. If it is not possible, the requirements of this section will not be satisfied even if the employer adopts a retroactive plan amendment which, in form, appears to satisfy such requirements. Section 401(b) does not permit a plan to be made retroactively effective, for qualification purposes, for a taxable year prior to the taxable year of the employer in which the plan was adopted by such employer.

(b) Disqualifying provisions. For purposes of this section, with respect to a plan described in paragraph (a) of this section, the term “disqualifying provision” means:

(1) A provision of a new plan, the absence of a provision from a new plan, or an amendment to an existing plan, which causes such plan to fail to satisfy the requirements of the Code applicable to qualification of such plan as of the date such plan or amendment is first made effective.

(2) A plan provision which results in the failure of the plan to satisfy the qualification requirements of the Code by reason of a change in such requirements—

(i) Effected by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-406, 88 Stat. 829), hereafter referred to as “ERISA,” or the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-248, 96 Stat. 324), hereafter referred to as “TEFRA,” or

(ii) Effective before the first day of the first plan year beginning after December 31, 1989 and that is effected by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-514, 100 Stat. 2085, 2489), hereafter referred to as “TRA '86,” the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, (Pub. L. 99-509, 100 Stat. 1874), hereafter referred to as “OBRA '86,” or the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (Pub. L. 100-203, 101 Stat. 1330), hereafter referred to as “OBRA '87.” For purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(ii), a disqualifying provision includes any plan provision that is integral to a qualification requirement changed by TRA '86, OBRA '86, or OBRA '87 or any requirement treated by the Commissioner, directly or indirectly, as if section 1140 of TRA '86 applied to it, but only to the extent such provision is effective before the first day of the first plan year beginning after December 31, 1989. With respect to disqualifying provisions described in this paragraph (b)(2)(ii) effective before the first day of the first plan year which begins after December 31, 1988, there must be compliance with the conditions of section 1140 of TRA '86 (other than the requirement that the plan amendment be made on or before the last day of the first plan year beginning after December 31, 1988), including operation in accordance with the plan provision as of its effective date with respect to the plan.

(3) A plan provision designated by the Commissioner, at the Commissioner's discretion, as a disqualifying provision that either—

(i) Results in the failure of the plan to satisfy the qualification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code by reason of a change in those requirements; or

(ii) Is integral to a qualification requirement of the Internal Revenue Code that has been changed.

(c) Special rules applicable to disqualifying provisions—(1) Absence of plan provision. For purposes of paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section, a disqualifying provision includes the absence from a plan of a provision required by, or, if applicable, integral to the applicable change to the qualification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code, if the plan was in effect on the date the change became effective with respect to the plan.

(2) Method of designating disqualifying provisions. The Commissioner may designate a plan provision as a disqualifying provision pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this section only in revenue rulings, notices, and other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. See §601.601(d)(2) of this chapter.

(3) Authority to impose limitations. In the case of a provision that has been designated as a disqualifying provision by the Commissioner pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Commissioner may impose limits and provide additional rules regarding the amendments that may be made with respect to that disqualifying provision during the remedial amendment period. The Commissioner may provide guidance in revenue rulings, notices, and other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. See §601.601(d)(2) of this chapter.

(d) Remedial amendment period. (1) The remedial amendment period with respect to a disqualifying provision begins:

(i) In the case of a provision of, or absence of a provision from, a new plan, described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the date the plan is put into effect,

(ii) In the case of an amendment to an existing plan, described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the date the plan amendment is adopted or put into effect (whichever is earlier),

(iii) In the case of a disqualifying provision described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the date on which the change effected by ERISA, TEFRA, TRA '86, OBRA '86, OBRA '87, or a qualification requirement that is treated, directly or indirectly, as subject to the conditions of section 1140 of TRA '86 described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, became effective with respect to such plan or, in the case of a provision, described in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, that is integral to such qualification requirement, the first day on which the plan was operated in accordance with such provision, or

(iv) In the case of a disqualifying provision described in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, the date on which the change effected by an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code became effective with respect to the plan; or

(v) In the case of a disqualifying provision described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, the first day on which the plan was operated in accordance with such provision, as amended, unless another time is specified by the Commissioner in revenue rulings, notices, and other guidance published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. See §601.601(d)(2) of this chapter.

(2) Unless further extended as provided by paragraph (e) of this section, the remedial amendment period ends with the latest of:

(i) In the case of a plan maintained by one employer, the time prescribed by law, including extensions, for filing the income tax return (or partnership return of income) of the employer for the employer's taxable year in which falls the latest of:

(A) The date on which the remedial amendment period begins.

(B) The date on which a plan amendment described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section is adopted, or

(C) The date on which a plan amendment described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section is made effective,

(ii) In the case of a plan maintained by one employer, the last day of the plan year within which falls the latest of:

(A) The date on which the remedial amendment period begins,

(B) The date on which a plan amendment described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section is adopted, or

(C) The date on which a plan amendment described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section is made effective,

(iii) In the case of a plan maintained by more than one employer, the last day of the tenth month following the last day of the plan year in which falls the latest of:

(A) The date on which the remedial amendment period begins,

(B) The date on which a plan amendment described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section is adopted, or

(C) The date of which a plan amendment described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section is made effective, or

(iv) December 31, 1976, but only in the case of a plan to which section 411 (relating to minimum vesting standards) applies without regard to section 411(e)(2), and only in the case of a remedial amendment period which began on or after September 2, 1974.

(3) For purposes of paragraphs (d)(2)(i), (d)(2)(ii), and (d)(2)(iii) of this section, for any disqualifying provision described in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, the remedial amendment period shall be deemed to have begun with the first day of the first plan year which begins after December 31, 1988.

(4) For purposes of this paragraph (d)(2) of this section, a master or prototype plan shall not be considered to be a plan maintained by more than one employer, and whether or not a plan is maintained by more than one employer, shall be determined without regard to section 414 (b) and (c) except that if a plan is maintained solely by an affiliated group of corporations (within the meaning of section 1504) which files a consolidated income tax return pursuant to section 1501 for a taxable year within which falls the latest of the dates described in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, such plan shall be deemed to be maintained by one employer.

(e) Extensions of remedial amendment period—(1) Opinion letter request by sponsoring organization of master or prototype plan. In the case of an employer who has adopted a master or prototype plan, a remedial amendment period that began on or after September 2, 1974, shall not end prior to the later of:

(i) June 30, 1977, or

(ii) The last day of the month that is six months after the month in which:

(A) The opinion letter with respect to the request of the sponsoring organization is issued by the Internal Revenue Service,

(B) Such request is withdrawn, or

(C) Such request is otherwise disposed of by the Internal Revenue Service. The rules contained in this subparagraph apply only if the sponsoring organization of such master or prototype plan has, after September 2, 1974, and on or before December 31, 1976, filed a request for an opinion letter with respect to the initial or continuing qualification of the plan (or a trust which is part of the plan). The provisions of this paragraph (e)(1) apply to a master or prototype plan adopted to replace another plan even though the remedial amendment period applicable to the replaced plan has expired at the time of adoption of the replacement plan.

(2) Notification letter request by law firm sponsor of district-approved plan. In the case of an employer who has adopted a pattern plan, a remedial amendment period that began on or after September 2, 1974, shall not end prior to the later of:

(i) June 30, 1977, or

(ii) The last day of the month that is six months after the month in which:

(A) The notification letter with respect to the request of the sponsoring law firm is issued by the Internal Revenue Service,

(B) Such request is withdrawn, or

(C) Such request is otherwise disposed of by the Internal Revenue Service. The rules contained in this subparagraph shall apply only if the sponsoring law firm of such pattern plan has, on or before December 31, 1976, filed a request for a notification letter with the Internal Revenue Service with respect to the initial or continuing qualification of the plan (or a trust which is part of the plan). The provisions of this paragraph (e)(2) apply to a pattern plan adopted to replace another plan even though the remedial amendment period applicable to the replaced plan has expired at the time of the adoption of the replacement plan.

(3) Determination letter request by employer or plan administrator. If on or before the end of a remedial amendment period determined without regard to this paragraph (e), or in a case to which paragraph (e) (1) or (2) of this section applies, on or before the 90th day following the later of the dates described in paragraph (e) (1) or (2) of this section, the employer or plan administrator files a request pursuant to §601.201(s) of this chapter (Statement of Procedural Rules) for a determination letter with respect to the initial or continuing qualification of the plan, or a trust which is part of such plan, such remedial amendment period shall be extended until the expiration of 91 days after:

(i) The date on which notice of the final determination with respect to such request for a determination letter is issued by the Internal Revenue Service, such request is withdrawn, or such request is otherwise finally disposed of by the Internal Revenue Service, or

(ii) If a petition is timely filed with the United States Tax Court for a declaratory judgment under section 7476 with respect to the final determination (or the failure of the Internal Revenue Service to make a final determination) in response to such request, the date on which the decision of the United States Tax Court in such proceeding becomes final.

(4) Transitional rule. In the case of a request for a determination letter described in and filed within the time prescribed in paragraph (e)(3) of this section with respect to which a final determination is issued by the Internal Revenue Service on or before September 28, 1976 the remedial amendment period described in paragraph (d) of this section shall not end prior to the expiration of 150 days beginning on the date of such final determination by the Internal Revenue Service.

(5) Disqualifying provision prior to September 2, 1974. If the remedial amendment period with respect to a disqualifying provision described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section began prior to September 2, 1974, and the provisions of paragraphs (e)(5)(i), (ii) and (iii) of this section are satisfied, the remedial amendment period described in paragraph (d) shall not end prior to December 31, 1976. This subparagraph shall apply only if—

(i) A request pursuant to §601.201 of this chapter for a determination letter with respect to the initial or continuing qualification of the plan (or a trust which is part of the plan) was filed not later than the later of:

(A) The time prescribed by law, including extensions, for filing the income tax return (or partnership return of income) of the employer for the employer's taxable year in which falls the date on which the remedial amendment period began, or

(B) The date 6 months after the close of such taxable year,

(ii) The employer, either:

(A) While such request for a determination letter is or was under consideration by the Internal Revenue Service or,

(B) Promptly after the date on which notice of the final determination with respect to such request for a determination letter is issued by the Internal Revenue Service, such request is withdrawn, or such request is otherwise finally disposed of by the Internal Revenue Service, adopts or adopted either a plan amendment retroactive to the date on which the remedial amendment period began, or a prospective plan amendment, and

(iii) The amendment described in paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this section would have resulted in the plan's satisfying the requirements of section 401(a) of the Code from the beginning of the remedial amendment period to the date such amendment was made if this section had been in effect during such period, and in the case of a prospective amendment, if such amendment had been made retroactive to such beginning date.

(f) Discretionary extensions. At his discretion, the Commissioner may extend the remedial amendment period or may allow a particular plan to be amended after the expiration of its remedial amendment period and any applicable extension of such period. In determining whether such an extension will be granted, the Commissioner shall consider, among other factors, whether substantial hardship to the employer would result if such an extension were not granted, whether such an extension is in the best interest of plan participants, and whether the granting of the extension is adverse to the interests of the Government. The mere absence of final regulations with respect to issues covered under the Special Reliance Procedure announced by the Internal Revenue Service in Technical Information Release 1416 on November 5, 1975, and as extended by Internal Revenue Service News Release IR-1616 on May 14, 1976, shall not be deemed to satisfy the criteria of this paragraph. With regard to a particular plan, a request for extension of time pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted prior to the expiration of the remedial amendment period determined without regard to this paragraph, or within such time thereafter as the Internal Revenue Service may consider resonable under the circumstances. The request should be submitted to the appropriate District Director, determined under §601.201(s)(3)(xii) of this chapter (Statement of Procedural Rules). This subparagraph applies to disqualifying provisions that were adopted or became effective prior to September 2, 1974, as well as disqualifying provisions adopted or made effective on or after September 2, 1974.

(Secs. 401(b), 7805, Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (88 Stat. 943, 68A Stat. 917; 26 U.S.C. 401(b), 7805))

[T.D. 7437, 41 FR 42653, Sept. 28, 1976, as amended by T.D. 7896, 48 FR 23817, May 27, 1983; T.D. 7997, 49 FR 50645, Dec. 31, 1984; T.D. 8217, 53 FR 29662, Aug. 8, 1988; T.D. 8727, 62 FR 41273, 41274, Aug. 1, 1997; T.D. 8871, 65 FR 5433, Feb. 4, 2000]

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