Rebecca Amthor

Qualified retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, money purchase pension plans, defined benefit pension plans, and ESOPs) must be amended to comply with tax law changes in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (“EGTRRA”) of 2001.  The deadline for amending a plan is the end of the plan’s “EGTRRA remedial amendment period.”  The IRS has established a system of staggered, cyclical remedial amendment periods for both individually designed and pre-approved plans.  Under this system, every individually designed plan has a five-year remedial amendment cycle and every pre-approved plan has a six-year remedial amendment cycle.  This means that employers now have specific periods of time during which retirement plans must be amended  and restated to take into account the changes in laws for retirement plans and to submit the plan to the IRS for new determination letters.  An IRS determination letter is necessary in order for a plan sponsor to be assured that the plan document meets the Internal Revenue Code  requirements to be a “qualified” plan.  For changes required by EGTRRA, the plan must be amended to incorporate the EGTRRA changes and submitted to the IRS for a determination letter by the last day of the plan’s EGTRRA remedial amendment period. 

Service providers who provide employers with pre-approved plans (i.e., master and prototype or volume submitter plans) should contact employers who have adopted their plans to advise the employers of the amendment and submission process.  If you have a pre-approved plan and have not received information from your service provider, you should contact the service provider immediately for information about the process.

For employers with individually designed plans, the “remedial amendment period” is determined based on the last digit of the plan sponsor’s tax identification number (“TIN”).  The following chart  lists the time periods for the EGTRRA remedial amendment cycles and determination letters for individually designed plans:

If employer’s TIN ends in

The Plan’s cycle is

Last day of the EGTRRA remedial amendment period (i.e., the first cycle is)

1 or 6

Cycle A

January 31, 2007

2 or 7

Cycle B

January 31, 2008

3 or 8

Cycle C

January 31, 2009

4 or 9

Cycle D

January 31, 2010

5 or 0

Cycle E

January 31, 2011


Government plans will generally be considered to fall into Cycle C.

If, according to our records, your plan is an individually designed retirement plan that we will be amending and submitting for the EGTRRA changes, we will be contacting you regarding your remedial amendment period by August 31, 2006.  Otherwise, if you have an individually designed plan and need our assistance with the EGTRRA changes, or if you have questions regarding the remedial amendment period for your pre-approved plan, please contact Dana Thrasher (205-226-5464; or Rebecca Amthor (205-226-5460;

NOTE:  Section 403(b) and Section 457(b) plans are not included in the plans subject to the EGTRRA remedial amendment cycles and determination letters.  However, 403(b) and 457(b) plans must be amended to comply with the EGTRRA provisions applicable to these plans, if they have not already been so amended.


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