ERIC Works to Alleviate Burden for Large Employers after Loss of Determination Letter Program

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is working with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to assist in enhancing avenues for plan document compliance in the wake of the discontinuance of the IRS determination letter program for on-going individually designed plans.

As the only national association that advocates exclusively for large employers on health, retirement, and compensation public policies at the federal, state, and local levels, ERIC has a strong interest in ensuring our members have the ability to provide secure retirement benefits to tens of millions of active and retired workers and their families.

ERIC filed comments today in response to a request for information on how the agencies can alter plan qualification requirements to ease the burden on plan sponsors with the elimination of the determination letter program for on-going individually designed plans. ERIC urged the agencies to:

  • Allow plan sponsors to incorporate, by reference, a number of legally required provisions;
  • Enable plan sponsors to omit from their governing documents provisions that do not apply to their plans due to the status of the plan sponsor or the design of the plan; and
  • Adopt a flexible approach to the existence of plan form defects discovered during an audit.

“The loss of the determination letter program for on-going individually designed plans is immeasurable, but we hope the agencies act on the comments we provided, which will ease the compliance burden on plan sponsors,” said Will Hansen, Senior Vice President of Retirement Policy, ERIC. “It is important that individually designed plans that contain unique provisions reflective of individual company benefit priorities and culture are allowed to continue. And, that employers are not forced to pick plans ‘off the shelf’ that do not offer the same benefits and investment opportunities that their current plans allow for employees to partake in.”

Leading up to the IRS’s decision to discontinue the determination letter program for on-going individually designed plans, ERIC repeatedly expressed concern about the effect its discontinuance would have on our members, filing numerous comments with the IRS and Treasury Department expressing the need for the program.

To read ERIC’s comments filed today, click here.

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

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

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.