The Internal Revenue Service said it is temporarily closing its determination letter program for adopters of pre-approved defined-benefit plans.

In Announcement 2009-85, the IRS said it will temporarily stop accepting applications on Feb. 22, 2010 for determination letters for defined-benefit plans filed on Form 5307, “Application for Determination for Adopters of Master or Prototype or Volume Submitter Plans.”

The IRS said it is taking this action because all pre-approved master, prototype and volume submitter defined-benefit plans need to be restated to comply with items identified for review in several earlier notices and laws. The restated pre-approved plans will be submitted to the IRS for a determination letter, if needed, using Form 5307 during a period of approximately two years, which the IRS expects to announce early in 2010. The temporary hiatus in accepting Form 5307 applications will allow the IRS to prepare to receive the applications submitted by adopters of these restated pre-approved plans. 

As provided in Rev. Proc. 2007-44, when the review of the pre-approved defined benefit plans is nearing completion, the IRS will publish an announcement providing the date by which adopting employers must adopt the newly approved plans. This date will also be the deadline for adopting employers to file Form 5307 determination letter applications for their restated pre-approved defined benefit plans.

The IRS expects to publish this announcement early in 2010 and anticipates that adopting employers will have approximately two years to adopt the restated plans and request determination letters

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