ERIC Provides Guidance on Determination Letter Program

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) continues to provide guidance to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the determination letter program.

ERIC, along with the In-House Benefits Counsel Network (IBCN), submitted comments in response to a request by the IRS on the potential expansion of the scope of the determination letter program for individually designed plans during the 2019 calendar year. Based on input from ERIC’s membership, our recommendations, include:

  • Allowing plan sponsors to request a determination letter during the 2019 calendar year with respect to a plan merger that has occurred since the plan’s last determination letter was issued
  • Allowing hybrid plans, employee stock ownership plans, and plans incorporating a non-safe harbor accrual or allocation formula to request a determination letter with respect to certain matters on which the IRS did not previously rule
  • Establishing or providing official recognition of a third-party certification system that would fill the void left by the suspension of the determination letter program

“If the actions recommended in the comment letter are adopted by the IRS, it will help to ease the immense compliance burden already imposed on sponsors of retirement plans. It is vital that individually designed retirement plans, which contain provisions unique to each company’s benefit priorities and culture, continue to thrive in providing quality benefits to tens of millions of Americans. We hope the agencies will act on the comments we provided,” said Will Hansen, Senior Vice President of Retirement Policy, ERIC.

Click here to read the comment letter in its entirety.


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

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918,

About the ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is the only national association that advocates exclusively for large employer plan sponsors on health, retirement, compensation, and paid leave public policies at the federal, state, and local levels. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC promotes uniformity and flexibility for nationwide benefit plans.