Restatement Period Opens for Pre-Approved Defined Contribution Plans

In June 2020, the IRS announced that they were issuing opinion letters for pre-approved defined contribution plan documents. This means it is time to start the process to restate defined contribution plans such as 401(k), profit sharing, and money purchase pension plans. Restatements must be adopted no later than July 31, 2022. While that may seem like a long time away, and the terrifying flashbacks from the last restatement cycle may be the stuff of your nightmares, keep in mind that in order to preserve reliance on their tax-exempt status, ALL pre-approved defined contribution plans must be restated by that deadline, so document vendors will be very busy, particularly in the later portion of the restatement period. Starting the process as soon as possible will enable your plan to be restated by the deadline and with enough time to allow for careful review to ensure no errors are made in the restatement process. Don’t let it sneak up on you!


There are a lot of pieces to this process:

  • Coordinating with the document vendor

  • Being aware of, and possibly changing plan provisions as a result of, changes to the pre-approved document provisions

  • Arranging for legal counsel review

  • Careful review of the plan document by the plan sponsor

  • Adoption of the plan documents and certain interim amendments

  • Potential review and adoption of a new service agreement with the document vendor


For more detail on this process and related issues, see the article by Sherrie Boutwell and Kathleen Salas Bass at We're Off To The Races: Restatement Period Opens for Pre-Approved Defined Contribution Plans and their webinar from January 2021 at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3371650618953858318.