Announcement 2007-61

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Internal Revenue Bulletin:

2007-28 July 9, 2007

Announcement 2007-61

Closing of the GUST Program for Pre-Approved Defined Benefit Plans

On September 7, 2007, the Service will discontinue accepting applications for opinion and advisory letters for pre-approved (i.e., master and prototype (M&P) and volume submitter (VS)) defined benefit plans that have not been restated to comply with the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Pub. L. 107-16, (“EGTRRA”) and other changes in plan qualification requirements listed in Notice 2007-3, 2007-2 I.R.B. 254 (“the 2006 Cumulative List”). The Service is taking this action because the timely submission period for the initial (EGTRRA) six-year amendment/approval cycle for pre-approved defined benefit plans described in Rev. Proc. 2007-44, page , this Bulletin, is now open.

Rev. Proc. 2007-44 and Rev. Proc. 2005-16, 2005-1 C.B. 674, describe a staggered remedial amendment system for plans that are qualified under § 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, with five-year amendment/approval cycles for individually designed plans and six-year cycles for pre-approved plans. The submission period for the initial cycle for pre-approved defined benefit plans started on February 1, 2007 and runs through January 31, 2008. Sponsors and practitioners are required to restate their pre-approved defined benefit plans for EGTRRA and the 2006 Cumulative List and apply for new opinion or advisory letters during this submission period.

Applications for opinion/advisory letters for pre-approved defined benefit plans that were filed before February 1, 2007 will be reviewed by the Service for compliance with GUST6 and letters for these plans will not consider EGTRRA or subsequent changes in the plan qualification requirements. Applications filed on or after February 1, 2007 and before September 7, 2007, will also be reviewed only for GUST unless the plan submitted with the application was restated to comply with EGTRRA and the 2006 Cumulative List.

Because the plans described in the preceding paragraph must be restated for EGTRRA and resubmitted to the Service during the current submission period, sponsors and practitioners may wish to withdraw applications for such plans that are currently pending with the Service. In this case, the user fee paid with the application will not be refunded, but the user fee requirement will be waived for a new application for the same plan that is filed within the submission period. The sponsor or practitioner should indicate on the face of the application form that the user fee is being waived pursuant to Announcement 2007-61.

Applications for opinion/advisory letters for pre-approved defined benefit plans that are filed on or after September 7, 2007, will be returned if the plan has not been restated for EGTRRA and the 2006 Cumulative List.

This announcement does not affect the ability of employers to apply for individual determination letters. Thus, the Service will continue to accept applications for determination letters on Form 5307, Application for Determination for Adopters of Master or Prototype or Volume Submitter Plans, which are filed by adopters of both defined contribution and defined benefit pre-approved plans.

6 The term “GUST” refers to the following:

  • the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, Pub. L. 103-465;
  • the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103-353;
  • the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-188;
  • the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Pub. L. 105-34;
  • the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-206; and
  • the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106-554.
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