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1.2021 IRS Updates for Employee Benefits

The IRS has Released Procedural Updates Regarding Letter Rulings and Other Guidance For Employee Benefit Plans


Rev. Proc. 2021-4, page 157. This document updates Rev. Proc. 2020-4, 2020-1 I.R.B. 148, relating to the types of advice the IRS provides to taxpayers on issues under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements, and the procedures that apply to requests for determination letters and private letter rulings.


The IRS has released the adjusted 2021 PCOR fee.

The applicable dollar amount that must be used to calculate the fee imposed by §§ 4375 and 4376 for policy years and plan years that end on or after October 1, 2020, and before October 1, 2021, is $2.66.


The EBSA and PBGC released informational copies of the 2020 form 5500 along with instructions.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today released advance informational copies of the 2020 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and related instructions – including the Form 5500-SF and the IRS released Form 5500-EZ, which now also appears on the EBSA website. The “Changes to Note” section of the 2020 instructions for each of the forms highlights important modifications to the Form 5500, as well as to their schedules and instructions.

Information copies of the forms, schedules and instructions are available on the EBSA website.

Filers should monitor the EFAST website for the availability of the official electronic versions for filing using EFAST-approved software or directly through the EFAST website. Assistance with the EFAST2 system is available at or by calling 1-866-463-3278.


The IRS has released the 2021 copies of the Form 5498-SA and instructions for HSA reporting.


The IRS has released Notice 2020-86 regarding the SECURE Act and Safe Harbor Plans.

This notice provides guidance in the form of questions and answers with respect to §§ 102 and 103 of Division O of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, Pub. L. 116-94, 133 Stat. 2534 (2019), known as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act).1 Section 102 of the SECURE Act increases the 10 percent cap for automatic enrollment safe harbor plans. Section 103 of the Secure Act eliminates certain safe harbor notice requirements for plans that provide for safe harbor nonelective contributions and adds new provisions for the retroactive adoption of safe harbor status for those plans. This notice is not intended to provide comprehensive guidance as to § 102 or 103 of the SECURE Act, but rather is intended to assist taxpayers by providing guidance on particular issues while the Treasury Department and the IRS develop regulations to fully implement these sections of the SECURE Act. The Treasury Department and the IRS invite comments on the guidance in this notice and any other aspect of § 102 or 103 of the SECURE Act.


The IRS has released Notice 2021-03 Regarding the physical presence requirement for qualified retirement plans.

In response to the continuing public health emergency caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and the related social distancing that has been implemented, this notice extends from January 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, the temporary relief provided in Notice 2020-42, 2020-26 I.R.B. 986, from the physical presence requirement in Treasury Regulation § 1.401(a)-21(d)(6) for participant elections required to be witnessed by a plan representative or a notary public, including spousal consent required under § 417 of the Internal Revenue Code, and solicits comments with respect to the relief.



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