IRS Sucks for ERISA Attorneys

The cover of the Bloomberg Businessweek magazine that I brought into the ‘Dialogue with the IRS’ session at this week’s Enrolled Actuaries meeting:

irs sucks

 

The story was about the IRS budget being cut and employees unhappy with the working conditions.  But how does that impact those working in the pension field?

For one thing it was confirmed by Kyle N. Brown that the IRS as of January 1, 2017 would no longer be accepting Determination Letter (DL) applications for individually designed plans.  In his own words:

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Summing up: 15,000 applications that take about 3 hours each to do for less than 100 workers.  That comes to about 450 hours per worker which I was going to point out would be what some private-sector lawyers put in monthly if you go by their billing records but I contented myself instead with asking about the nature of the 15,000 applications that come in annually on individually designed plans; whether they were all on new plans or amendments or terminations.  There was no specific answer so there is no point in posting the audio* but I apparently did spur more followup comments from, among others, Jim Holland who used to be the lead IRS representative on this dais:

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What occurred to me after the seminar is that there has been a lot of innovation through this DL process for individually designed plans over the years where practitioners think up new plan designs and then submit to IRS for approval.  We have gotten cash balance, new comparability and, going all the way back, even 401(k) plans this way.  Will this creativity now dry up and, if so, is that a bad thing?

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* The session was recorded officially (a practice that will cease next year) so I could get the recording of my question later but once I got up there I felt pressing a button on an iphone would make the panel more circumspect than they already were.

 

 

One response to this post.

  1. […]  It has come to our attention that you have made personal recordings of the speakers at the 2015 Enrolled Actuaries Meeting without the permission of either the individual speakers or the joint sponsors of the Enrolled Actuaries Meeting.  This audio is currently being made available through your blog, Burypensions Blog. […]

    Reply

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