ERIC Makes Recommendations on the IRS Determination Letter Program

The ERISA Industry Committee submits comments to the IRS on its proposal to eliminate its determination letter program recommending a smaller, more focused program 

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on its proposal to eliminate its determination letter program for individually designed plans. The program affirms that an individually designed retirement plan and any changes made to it are qualified for tax purposes.

ERIC is the only national trade association advocating exclusively for the employee benefit and compensation interests of the country’s largest employers. Most large employers do not use predetermined or “off the shelf” retirement plans, instead choosing to individually design plans that best benefit their workforces. The IRS’s proposal to eliminate determination letters for these types of plans would disproportionately and unfairly affect large employers and their retirement plans. The inability to prove that a retirement plan is in compliance with current tax laws and plan provisions would create chaos.

“Large employers routinely make changes to their retirement plans to conform to new laws or regulations, to reflect a merger, acquisition or spin-off, or to implement new and innovative changes that are in the participants’ best interest,” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, ERIC. “Limiting the ability of large employers to receive the IRS’s ‘seal of approval’ regarding tax qualification status is potentially devastating, because it would create uncertainty for the plans and plan participants, as well as undermine the ability of companies to execute mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs.”

To remedy this, ERIC recommends that the IRS allow certain large plans to continue to apply for a favorable determination letter, similar to the approach currently in effect, but limit the burden on the IRS resources by substantially reducing the pool of qualified applicants.

“By limiting the determination letter approval program to extremely large employers, those with 15,000 or more participants, the IRS will not only ensure the smooth administration of large employer plans, but will also guarantee that it uses its limited resources efficiently,” said Guarisco Fildes.

To read ERIC’s full comments to the IRS on revisions to the employee plans determination letter program, please click here.


All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918,

About the ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC helps America’s largest employers stay ahead of employee benefit policy. ERIC member companies are leaders in every sector of the economy, and we represent them in their capacity as sponsors of employee benefit plans for their own workforce. Only ERIC provides the combination of intel, expertise, collaboration, and lobbying that exclusively serves the interests of large employers who provide health, retirement, and compensation benefits to their nationwide workforce.