The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department plan to host a series of town halls and consultation listening meetings around the country to discuss proposed guidance on possible standards for determining if a retirement plan is considered a governmental plan under Section 414(d) of the Tax Code.

The issue is important to federal, state, local and Indian tribal governments, along with their employees, because the statutory rules that apply to governmental plans are different from those that apply to nongovernmental plans. In addition, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 contained statutory changes related to plans maintained by Indian tribal governments.

The IRS and the Treasury are already soliciting comments on proposed drafts issued in November 2011 of possible approaches to guidance in this area. Comments must be received by June 18, 2012. Input from the general public is also sought from discussions at town hall and consultation listening meetings.

Town hall meetings to discuss the general governmental plans proposed guidance are scheduled for:

• March 15, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. (from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the auditorium of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, 1301 Clay St.). Interested parties who wish to attend must preregister by March 1, 2012.

• May 3, 2012, in Cleveland (from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the auditorium of the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 E. Ninth St.). Interested parties who wish to attend must preregister by April 19, 2012.

• A free phone forum on the proposed guidance will be held on May 15, 2012 at 2 p.m. Details will be available on the IRS website (available soon at www.irs.gov/retirement.).

Consultation listening meetings to discuss the Indian Tribal Governments proposed guidance are scheduled for:

• Feb. 15, 2012, in Arlington, Va. (from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., at the Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway). The meeting will be held in conjunction with the United South & Eastern Tribes Conference.

• Spring, 2012. Details will be available on the IRS website (available soon at www.irs.gov/govt/tribes).

• A free phone forum on the proposed guidance will be held on April 24, 2012 at 2 p.m. Details will be available on the IRS website (available soon at www.irs.gov/govt/tribes).

A public hearing on the proposed guidance relating to the general determination of governmental plans will be held on July 9, 2012. A public hearing on the proposed guidance relating to the determination of whether a plan of an Indian tribal government is a governmental plan will be held on July 10, 2012.  Both hearings will be held in Washington, D.C.

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