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401(k) BB 02: Plan Document Requirements and Deadlines
Presentor: Derrin Watson Recorded Date: 8/8/2016 Duration: 60 Min.

This program was recorded during a live presentation given on August 8, 2016 at 12:00PM EST.

Do you already know the basics of 401(k) plans, and want to move on to the nitty gritty? There are so many rules, that it is impossible even for a very experienced practitioner to remember them all. Each installment in this series will present a one-hour focused look at a single topic affecting 401(k) plans and provide the information practitioners need to know to be sure they are fully assisting the companies and participants they serve. You can brush up on a single topic, or view the whole set, either as a live seminar, where you can ask questions, or as an archived presentation on your own schedule. Our standard pricing has been discounted to make attendance to all sessions in this series more cost effective. The series will cover the following:

401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics Web Series

  • 401(k) BB 01: IRS and DOL Correction Programs:More than Alphabet Soup
  • 401(k) BB 02: Plan Document Requirements and Deadlines
  • 401(k) BB 03: Eligibility and Vesting Design Considerations
  • 401(k) BB 04: HCEs and Compensation
  • 401(k) BB 05: Coverage Testing Issues
  • 401(k) BB 06: The Average Benefit Test
  • 401(k) BB 07: Elective Deferral Options
  • 401(k) BB 08: ADP Testing Techniques
  • 401(k) BB 09: ACP Testing Techniques
  • 401(k) BB 10: After-tax Contributions: The Other White Meat
  • 401(k) BB 11: Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan Design
  • 401(k) BB 12: Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan Operation
  • 401(k) BB 13: Distribution Restrictions & Hardships
  • 401(k) BB 14: Participant Loans: The Fine Print
  • 401(k) BB 15: All About Roth


401(k) Beyond the Basics 02: Plan Document Requirements and Deadlines

Dealing with plan documents involves many potential pitfalls, besides the problems that result from careless drafting. Missing strict deadlines can result in costly IRS filing fees or sanctions. There are different types of documents, with differing deadlines and opportunities for customization, including individually designed plans, prototypes, volume submitter plans. But, if you follow the rules correctly, the plan sponsor gains the assurance of “reliance” that the employer’s plan complies with the law. This seminar will explain the key rules relating to qualified plan documents including:

  • Adoption requirements and deadlines
    • Initial adoption
    • Plan amendment
    • Special rules
      • Anti-cutback rule
      • 401(k) plan adoption
      • Safe harbor 401(k) plan amendment
  • Document types and their advantages and disadvantages
    • Individually designed plans
      • Determination letters
      • IRS announced changes
    • Pre-approved plans
      • Prototype plans
        • Standardized
        • Nonstandardized
      • Volume submitter plans
      • Opinion and notification letters
    • Good faith amendments
      • Interim amendments
      • Discretionary amendments
      • Importance of timely adoption
    • Restatements
      • Pre-approved plans
      • Individually designed plans
    • Remedial amendment period
      • Deadline
      • Opportunity for correction
    • Introduction to VCP correction
      • Interim amendments
      • Other nonadopter failures


Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites or other advanced preparation for this program. The instructor will assume attendees have a general familiarity with the qualified plan requirements, and a minimum of two years of experience in dealing with qualified plans.

Level: Intermediate

Instructional Delivery Method: Group – Internet-Based

NASBA Field of Study: Taxes

Speaker: S. Derrin Watson, J.D.
Recipient of ASPPA's 2006 Educator of the Year Award

Objectives: After attending the program you should be able to:

  • Classify amendments as interim and discretionary and determine deadlines
  • Assist employers in keeping plan documents up to date
  • Explain the benefits of various plan types
  • Advise an employer on amendment and filing deadlines


How to participate: You will need a phone (speakerphone, for multiple participants sharing the Primary registrant’s authorized connection) and Internet Access. The graphics presentation and illustrations will be viewed via the Primary registrant’s Web connection, while the speaker audio portion will be via the Primary registrant’s telephone. Select the "Fees" link on the right side menu of this page for more information about who is authorized to connect to the program, and for the cancellation/transfer policy.

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