July 13, 2018

403(b) Plan document update frequently asked questions

As 403(b) Plan Sponsors learn more about the pre-approved documents and the remedial amendment period (RAP), questions have arisen regarding timeframe, action steps and updating. CBIZ Retirement Plan Services (CBIZ RPS) consultants have answered the most commonly asked questions below.


1. What is a restatement?

A restatement is replacing the current plan document with one that is completely revised to encompass all of the legislation and other guidance that has previously been issued. It is also an opportunity to incorporate any amendments, both voluntary and those mandated by the IRS.


2. What is the impact of the release of the new pre-approved document by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

All retirement plans are required to have a document that includes regulatory (e.g., tax law) and procedural language describing how benefits will be offered to employees. If you restate the plan using an IRS preapproved document, you have assurance that the document contains all the required provisions from the 403(b) regulations.


3. What is the time frame for the RAP?

The RAP began on January 1, 2010 (the first day that all 403(b) plans were required to have adopted a plan document) and will end on March 31, 2020.


4. Do I have to use a pre-approved plan document?

You may continue to use individually designed documents; however, they will not be approved by the IRS.


Click here to download the CBIZ RPS 403(b) Plan Document Compliance Checklist to start evaluating your preparedness today.


5. Will my recordkeeper update my plan document for me?

Your recordkeeper is already working hard to get a plan document approved by the IRS to help you meet this requirement. In fact your recordkeeper may take the initiative to map your current provisions into the slightly different, updated version of a plan document and then send it to you for signature. You can reach out to your recordkeeper or CBIZ RPS representative and ask what services they will be providing to help you with this.


6. Should I sign the restated plan document my recordkeeper prepared?

It may be tempting to just sign it and send it back. However, there are some items you will need to consider before signing. You will need to read the new document to familiarize yourself with plan provisions and confirm it includes all amendments to the plan that were added since the original document was created.


7. Should I review our current plan document now?

It would be prudent to begin giving some thought to any changes you might want to make to your plan document, whether your current benefit structure needs to be modified or you are already aware of any provisions in your document that are inconsistent with your current practices. Then, when you discuss the regulatory updates, you can also consider any plan design changes that should be incorporated in the new document.


8. What action do I need to take right now?

If CBIZ RPS has not been engaged to manage your plan document needs, you will need to determine which of your advisors will be responsible for this activity and begin discussing this requirement with them.


Download the CBIZ RPS 403(b) restatement compliance checklist to start evaluating your preparedness today.


CBIZ Retirement Plan Services is a trade name under which certain subsidiaries of CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE Listed: CBZ) market investment advisory, third party administration, actuarial and other retirement plan services. Investments and investment advisory services offered through CBIZ Financial Solutions, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC and SEC Registered Investment Adviser, dba CBIZ Retirement Plan Advisory Services. Third party administration, actuarial and other consulting services offered through CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc.

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