26 CFR 1.411(d)-4 - Section 411(d)(6) protected benefits.

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§ 1.411(d)-4 Section 411(d)(6) protected benefits.
Q-1: What are “section 411(d)(6) protected benefits”?
A-1: (a) In general. The term “section 411(d)(6) protected benefit” includes any benefit that is described in one or more of the following categories—
(1) Benefits described in section 411(d)(6)(A),
(2) Early retirement benefits (as defined in § 1.411(d)-3(g)(6)(i)) and retirement-type subsidies (as defined in § 1.411(d)-3(g)(6)(iv)), and
(3) Optional forms of benefit described in section 411(d)(6)(B)(ii).
Such benefits, to the extent they have accrued, are subject to the protection of section 411(d)(6) and, where applicable, the definitely determinable requirement of section 401(a) (including section 401(a)(25)) and cannot, therefore, be reduced, eliminated, or made subject to employer discretion except to the extent permitted by regulations.
(b) Optional forms of benefit—
(1) In general. The term optional form of benefit has the same meaning as in § 1.411(d)-3(g)(6)(ii). Under this definition, different optional forms of benefit exist if a distribution alternative is not payable on substantially the same terms as another distribution alternative. Thus, for example, different optional forms of benefit may result from differences in terms relating to the payment schedule, timing, commencement, medium of distribution (e.g., in cash or in kind), election rights, differences in eligibility requirements, or the portion of the benefit to which the distribution alternative applies.
(2) Examples. The following examples illustrate the meaning of the term “optional form of benefit.” Other issues, such as the requirement that the optional forms satisfy section 401(a)(4), are not addressed in these examples and no inferences are intended with respect to such requirements. Assume that the distribution forms, including those not described in these examples, provided under the plan in each of the following examples are identical in all respects not described.
Example 1.
A plan permits each participant to receive his benefit under the plan as a single sum distribution; a level monthly distribution schedule over 15 years; a single life annuity; a joint and 50 percent survivor annuity; a joint and 75 percent survivor annuity; a joint and 50 percent survivor annuity with a benefit increase for the participant if the beneficiary dies before a specified date; and joint and 50 percent survivor annuity with a 10 year certain feature. Each of these benefit distribution options is an optional form of benefit (without regard to whether the values of these options are actuarially equivalent).
Example 2.
A plan permits each participant who is employed by division A to receive his benefit in a single sum distribution payable upon termination from employment and each participant who is employed by division B in a single sum distribution payable upon termination from employment on or after the attainment of age 50. This plan provides two single sum optional forms of benefit.
Example 3.
A plan permits each participant to receive his benefit in a single life annuity that commences in the month after the participant's termination from employment or in a single life annuity that commences upon the completion of five consecutive one year breaks in service. These are two optional forms of benefit.
Example 4.
A profit-sharing plan permits each participant who is employed by division A to receive an in-service distribution upon the satisfaction of objective criteria set forth in the plan designed to determine whether the participant has a heavy and immediate financial need, and each participant who is employed by division B to receive an in-service distribution upon the satisfaction of objective criteria set forth in the plan designed to determine whether the participant has a heavy and immediate financial need attributable to extraordinary medical expenses. These in-service distribution options are two optional forms of benefits.
Example 5.
A profit-sharing plan permits each participant who is employed by division A to receive an in-service distribution up to $5,000 and each participant who is employed by division B to receive an in-service distribution of up to his total benefit. These in-service distribution options differ as to the portion of the accrued benefit that may be distributed in a particular form and are, therefore, two optional forms of benefit.
Example 6.
A profit-sharing plan provides for a single sum distribution on termination of employment. The plan is amended in 1991 to eliminate the single sum optional form of benefit with respect to benefits accrued after the date of amendment. This single sum optional form of benefit continues to be a single optional form of benefit although, over time, the percentage of various employees' accrued benefits that are potentially payable under this single sum may vary because the form is only available with respect to benefits accrued up to and including the date of the amendment.
Example 7.
A profit-sharing plan permits each participant to receive a single sum distribution of his benefit in cash or in the form of a specified class of employer stock. This plan provides two single sum distribution optinal forms of benefit.
Example 8.
A stock bonus plan permits each participant to receive a single sum distribution of his benefit in cash or in the form of the property in which such participant's benefit was invested prior to the distribution. This plan's single sum distribution option provides two optional forms of benefit.
Example 9.
A defined benefit plan provides for an early retirement benefit payable upon termination of employment after attainment of age 55 and either after ten years of service or, if earlier, upon plan termination to employees of Division A and provides for an identical early retirement benefit payable on the same terms with the exception of payment on plan termination to employees of Division B. The plan provides for two optional forms of benefit.
Example 10.
A profit-sharing plan provides for loans secured by an employee's account balance. In the event of default on such a loan, there is an execution on such account balances. Such execution is a distribution of the employee's accrued benefits under the plan. A distribution of an accrued benefit contingent on default under a plan loan secured by such accrued benefits is an optional form of benefit under the plan.
(c) Plan terms—
(1) General rule. Generally, benefits described in section 411(d)(6)(A), early retirement benefits, retirement-type subsidies, and optional forms of benefit are section 411(d)(6) protected benefits only if they are provided under the terms of a plan. However, if an employer establishes a pattern of repeated plan amendments providing for similar benefits in similar situations for substantially consecutive, limited periods of time, such benefits will be treated as provided under the terms of the plan, without regard to the limited periods of time, to the extent necessary to carry out the purposes of section 411(d)(6) and, where applicable, the definitely determinable requirement of section 401(a), including section 401(a)(25). A pattern of repeated plan amendments providing that a particular optional form of benefit is available to certain named employees for a limited period of time is within the scope of this rule and may result in such optional form of benefit being treated as provided under the terms of the plan to all employees covered under the plan without regard to the limited period of time and the limited group of named employees.
(2) Effective date. The provisions of paragraph (c)(1)of this Q&A-1 are effective as of July 11, 1988. Thus, patterns or repeated plan amendments adopted and effective before July 11, 1988 will be disregarded in determining whether such amendments have created an ongoing optional form of benefit under the plan.
(d) Benefits that are not section 411(d)(6) protected benefits. The following benefits are examples of items that are not section 411(d)(6) protected benefits:
(1) Ancillary life insurance protection;
(2) Accident or health insurance benefits;
(3) Social security supplements described in section 411(a)(9), except qualified social security supplements as defined in § 1.401(a)(4)-12;
(4) The availability of loans (other than the distribution of an employee's accrued benefit upon default under a loan);
(5) The right to make after-tax employee contributions or elective deferrals described in section 402(g)(3);
(6) The right to direct investments;
(7) The right to a particular form of investment (e.g., investment in employer stock or securities or investment in certain types of securities, commercial paper, or other investment media);
(8) The allocation dates for contributions, forfeitures, and earnings, the time for making contributions (but not the conditions for receiving an allocation of contributions or forfeitures for a plan year after such conditions have been satisfied), and the valuation dates for account balances;
(9) Administrative procedures for distributing benefits, such as provisions relating to the particular dates on which notices are given and by which elections must be made; and
(10) Rights that derive from administrative and operational provisions, such as mechanical procedures for allocating investment experience among accounts in defined contribution plans.
Q-2: To what extent may section 411(d)(6) protected benefits under a plan be reduced or eliminated?
A-2:
(a) Reduction or elimination of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits—
(1) In general. A plan is not permitted to be amended to eliminate or reduce a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit that has already accrued, except as provided in § 1.411(d)-3 or this section. This is generally the case even if such elimination or reduction is contingent upon the employee's consent. However, a plan may be amended to eliminate or reduce section 411(d)(6) protected benefits with respect to benefits not yet accrued as of the later of the amendment's adoption date or effective date without violating section 411(d)(6).
(2) Selection of optional forms of benefit—
(i) General rule. A plan may treat a participant as receiving his entire nonforfeitable accrued benefit under the plan if the participant receives his benefit in an optional form of benefit in an amount determined under the plan that is at least the actuarial equivalent of the employee's nonforfeitable accrued benefit payable at normal retirement age under the plan. This is true even though the participant could have elected to receive an optional form of benefit with a greater actuarial value than the value of the optional form received, such as an optional form including retirement-type subsidies, and without regard to whether such other, more valuable optional form could have commenced immediately or could have become available only upon the employee's future satisfaction of specified eligibility conditions.
(ii) Election of an optional form. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this Q&A-2, a plan does not violate section 411(d)(6) merely because an employee's election to receive a portion of his nonforfeitable accrued benefit in one optional form of benefit precludes the employee from receiving that portion of his benefit in another optional form of benefit. Such employee retains all 411(d)(6) protected rights with respect to the entire portion of such employee's nonforfeitable accrued benefit for which no distribution election was made. For purposes of this rule, an elective transfer of an otherwise distributable benefit is treated as the selection of an optional form of benefit. See Q&A-3 of this section.
(iii) Buy-back rule. Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this Q&A-2, an employee who received a distribution of his nonforfeitable benefit from a plan that is required to provide a repayment opportunity to such employee if he returns to service within the applicable period pursuant to the requirements of section 411(a)(7) and who, upon subsequent reemployment, repays the full amount of such distribution in accordance with section 411(a)(7)(C) must be reinstated in the full array of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits that existed with respect to such benefit prior to distribution.
(iv) Examples. The rules in this paragraph (a)(2) can be illustrated by the following examples:
Example 1.
Defined benefit plan X provides, among its optional forms of benefit, for a subsidized early retirement benefit payable in the form of an annuity and available to employees who terminate from employment on or after their 55th birthdays. In addition plan X provides for a single sum distribution available on termination from employment or termination of the plan. The single sum distribution is determined on the basis of the present value of the accrued normal retirement benefit and does not take the early retirement subsidy into account. Plan X is terminated December 31, 1991. Employees U, age 47, V, age 55, and W, age 47, all continue in the service of the employer. Employees X, age 47, Y, age 55 and Z, age 47, terminate from employment with the employer during 1991. Employees U and V elect to take the single sum optional form of distribution at the time of plan termination. Employees X and Y elect to take the single sum distribution on termination from employment with the employer. The elimination of the subsidized early retirement benefit with respect to employees U, V, X and Y does not result in a violation of section 411(d)(6). This is the result even though employees U and X had not yet satisfied the conditions for the subsidized early retirement benefit. Because employees W and Z have not selected an optional form of benefit, they continue to have a 411(d)(6) protected right to the full array of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits provided under the plan, including the single sum distribution form and the subsidized early retirement benefit.
Example 2.
A partially vested employee receives a single sum distribution of the present value of his entire nonforfeitable benefit on account of separation from service under a defined benefit plan providing for a repayment provision. Upon reemployment with the employer such employee makes repayment in the required amount in accordance with section 411(a)(7). Such employee may, upon subsequent termination of employment, elect to take such repaid benefits in any optional form provided under the plan as of the time of the employee's initial separation from service. If the plan was amended prior to such repayment, to eliminate the single sum optional form of benefit with respect to benefits accrued after the date of the amendment, such participant has a 411(d)(6) protected right to take distribution of the repaid benefit in the form of a single sum distribution.
(3) Certain transactions—
(i) Plan mergers and benefit transfers. The prohibition against the reduction or elimination of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits already accrued applies to plan mergers, spinoffs, transfers, and transactions amending or having the effect of amending a plan or plans to transfer plan benefits. Thus, for example, if plan A, a profit-sharing plan that provides for distribution of plan benefits in annual installments over ten or twenty years, is merged with plan B, a profit-sharing plan that provides for distribution of plan benefits in annual installments over life expectancy at time of retirement, the merged plan must retain the ten or twenty year installment option for participants with respect to benefits already accrued under plan A as of the merger and the installments over life expectancy for participants with benefits already accrued under plan B. Similarly, for example, if an employee's benefit under a defined contribution plan is transferred to another defined contribution plan (whether or not of the same employer), the optional forms of benefit available with respect to the employee's benefit accrued under the transferor plan may not be eliminated or reduced except as otherwise permitted under this regulation. See Q&A-3 of this section with respect to the transfer of benefits between and among defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
(ii) Annuity contracts—
(A) General rule. The right of a participant to receive a benefit in the form of cash payments from the plan and the right of a participant to receive that benefit in the form of the distribution of an annuity contract that provides for cash payments that are identical in all respects to the cash payments from the plan except with respect to the source of the payments are not separate optional forms of benefit. Therefore, for example, if a plan includes an optional form of benefit under which benefits are distributed in the medium of an annuity contract that provides for cash payments, that optional form of benefit may be modified by a plan amendment that substitutes cash payments from the plan for the annuity contract, where those cash payments from the plan are identical to the cash payments payable from the annuity contract in all respects except with respect to the source of the payments. The protection provided by section 411(d)(6) may not be avoided by the use of annuity contracts. Thus, section 411(d)(6) protected benefits already accrued may not be eliminated or reduced merely because a plan uses annuity contracts to provide such benefits, without regard to whether the plan, a participant, or a beneficiary of a participant holds the contract or whether such annuity contracts are purchased as a result of the termination of the plan. However, to the extent that an annuity contract constitutes payment of benefits in a particular optional form elected by the participant, the plan does not violate section 411(d)(6) merely because it provides that other optional forms are no longer available with respect to such participant. See paragraph (a)(2) of this Q&A-2.
(B) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph (a)(3)(ii) can be illustrated by the following examples:
Example 1.
A profit-sharing plan that is being terminated satisfies section 411(d)(6) only if the plan makes available to participants annuity contracts that provide for all section 411(d)(6) protected benefits under the plan that may not otherwise be reduced or eliminated pursuant to this Q&A-2. Thus, if such a plan provided for a single sum distribution upon attainment of early retirement age, and a provision for payment in the form of 10 equal annual installments, the plan would satisfy section 411(d)(6) only if the participants had the opportunity to elect to have their benefits provided under an annuity contract that provided for the same single sum distribution upon the attainment of the participant's early retirement age and the same 10 year installment optional form of benefit.
Example 2.
A defined benefit plan permits each participant who separates from service on or after age 62 to receive a qualified joint and survivor annuity or a single life annuity commencing 45 days after termination from employment. For a participant who separates from service before age 62, payments under these optional forms of benefit commence 45 days after the participant's 62nd birthday. Under the plan, a participant is to elect among these optional forms of benefit during the 90-day period preceding the annuity starting date. However, during such period, a participant may defer both benefit commencement and the election of a particular benefit form to any later date, subject to section 401(a)(9). In January 1990, the employer decides to terminate the plan as of July 1, 1990. The plan will fail to satisfy section 411(d)(6) unless the optional forms of benefit provided under the plan are preserved under the annuity contract purchased on plan termination. Thus, such annuity contract must provide a participant the same optional benefit commencement rights that the plan provided. In addition, such contract must provide the same election rights with respect to such benefit options. This is the case even if, for example, in conjunction with the termination, the employer amended the plan to permit participants to elect a qualified joint and survivor annuity, single life annuity, or single sum distribution commencing on July 1, 1990.
(4) Benefits payable to a spouse or beneficiary. Section 411(d)(6) protected benefits may not be eliminated merely because they are payable with respect to a spouse or other beneficiary.
(b) Section 411(d)(6) protected benefits that may be eliminated or reduced only as permitted by the Commissioner—
(1) In general. The Commissioner may, consistent with the provisions of this section, provide for the elimination or reduction of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits that have already accrued only to the extent that such elimination or reduction does not result in the loss to plan participants of either a valuable right or an employer-subsidized optional form of benefit where a similar optional form of benefit with a comparable subsidy is not provided or to the extent such elimination or reduction is necessary to permit compliance with other requirements of section 401(a) (e.g., sections 401(a)(4), 401(a)(9) and 415). The Commissioner may exercise this authority only through the publication of revenue rulings, notices, and other documents of general applicability.
(2) Section 411(d)(6) protected benefits that may be eliminated or reduced. The elimination or reduction of certain section 411(d)(6) protected benefits that have already accrued in the following situations does not violate section 411(d)(6). The rules with respect to permissible eliminations and reductions provided in this paragraph (b)(2) generally are effective January 30, 1986; however, the rules of paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) (A) and (B) and (b)(2)(viii) of this Q&A-2 are effective for plan amendments that are adopted and effective on or after September 6, 2000. These exceptions create no inference with respect to whether any other applicable requirements are satisfied (for example, requirements imposed by section 401(a)(9) and section 401(a)(14)).
(i) Change in statutory requirement. A plan may be amended to eliminate or reduce a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit if the following three requirements are met: the amendment constitutes timely compliance with a change in law affecting plan qualification; there is an exercise of section 7805(b) relief by the Commissioner; and the elimination or reduction is made only to the extent necessary to enable the plan to continue to satisfy the requirements for qualified plans. In general, the elimination or reduction of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit will not be treated as necessary if it is possible through other modifications to the plan (e.g., by expanding the availability of an optional form of benefit to additional employees) to satisfy the applicable qualification requirement.
(ii) Joint and survivor annuity. A plan that provides a range of three or more actuarially equivalent joint and survivor annuity options may be amended to eliminate any of such options, other than the options with the largest and smallest optional survivor payment percentages, even if the effect of such amendment is to change which of the options is the qualified joint and survivor annuity under section 417. Thus, for example, if a money purchase pension plan provides three joint and survivor annuity options with survivor payments of 50%, 75% and 100%, respectively, that are uniform with respect to age and are actuarially equivalent, then the employer may eliminate the option with the 75% survivor payment, even if this option had been the qualified joint and survivor annuity under the plan.
(iii) In-kind distributions—
(A) In-kind distributions payable under defined contribution plans in the form of marketable securities other than employer securities. If a defined contribution plan includes an optional form of benefit under which benefits are distributed in the form of marketable securities, other than securities of the employer, that optional form of benefit may be modified by a plan amendment that substitutes cash for the marketable securities as the medium of distribution. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(A) and paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(B) of this Q&A-2, the term marketable securities means marketable securities as defined in section 731(c)(2), and the term securities of the employer means securities of the employer as defined in section 402(e)(4)(E)(ii).
(B) Amendments to defined contribution plans to specify medium of distribution. If a defined contribution plan includes an optional form of benefit under which benefits are distributable to a participant in a medium other than cash, the plan may be amended to limit the types of property in which distributions may be made to the participant to the types of property specified in the amendment. For this purpose, the types of property specified in the amendment must include all types of property (other than marketable securities that are not securities of the employer) that are allocated to the participant's account on the effective date of the amendment and in which the participant would be able to receive a distribution immediately before the effective date of the amendment if a distributable event occurred. In addition, a plan amendment may provide that the participant's right to receive a distribution in the form of specified types of property is limited to the property allocated to the participant's account at the time of distribution that consists of property of those specified types.
(C) In-kind distributions after plan termination. If a plan includes an optional form of benefit under which benefits are distributed in specified property, that optional form of benefit may be modified for distributions after plan termination by substituting cash for the specified property as the medium of distribution to the extent that, on plan termination, an employee has the opportunity to receive the optional form of benefit in the form of the specified property. This exception is not available, however, if the employer that maintains the terminating plan also maintains another plan that provides an optional form of benefit under which benefits are distributed in the specified property.
(D) Examples. The following examples illustrate the application of this paragraph (b)(2)(iii):
Example 1.
(i) An employer maintains a profit-sharing plan under which participants may direct the investment of their accounts. One investment option available to participants is a fund invested in common stock of the employer. The plan provides that the participant has the right to a distribution in the form of cash upon termination of employment. In addition, the plan provides that, to the extent a participant's account is invested in the employer stock fund, the participant may receive an in-kind distribution of employer stock upon termination of employment. On October 18, 2000, the plan is amended, effective on January 1, 2001, to remove the fund invested in employer common stock as an investment option under the plan and to provide for the stock held in the fund to be sold. The amendment permits participants to elect how the sale proceeds are to be reallocated among the remaining investment options, and provides for amounts not so reallocated as of January 1, 2001, to be allocated to a specified investment option.
(ii) The plan does not fail to satisfy section 411(d)(6) solely on account of the plan amendment relating to the elimination of the employer stock investment option, which is not a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit. See paragraph (d)(7) of Q&A-1 of this section. Moreover, because the plan did not provide for distributions of employer securities except to the extent participants' accounts were invested in the employer stock fund, the plan is not required operationally to offer distributions of employer securities following the amendment. In addition, the plan would not fail to satisfy section 411(d)(6) on account of a further plan amendment, effective after the plan has ceased to provide for an employer stock fund investment option (and participants' accounts have ceased to be invested in employer securities), to eliminate the right to a distribution in the form of employer stock. See paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(B) of this Q&A-2.
Example 2.
(i) An employer maintains a profit-sharing plan under which a participant, upon termination of employment, may elect to receive benefits in a single-sum distribution either in cash or in kind. The plan's investments are limited to a fund invested in employer stock, a fund invested in XYZ mutual funds (which are marketable securities), and a fund invested in shares of PQR limited partnership (which are not marketable securities).
(ii) The following alternative plan amendments would not cause the plan to fail to satisfy section 411(d)(6):
(A) A plan amendment that limits non-cash distributions to a participant on termination of employment to a distribution of employer stock and shares of PQR limited partnership. See paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(A) of this Q&A-2.
(B) A plan amendment that limits non-cash distributions to a participant on termination of employment to a distribution of employer stock and shares of PQR limited partnership, and that also provides that only participants with employer stock allocated to their accounts as of the effective date of the amendment have the right to distributions in the form of employer stock, and that only participants with shares of PQR limited partnership allocated to their accounts as of the effective date of the amendment have the right to distributions in the form of shares of PQR limited partnership. To comply with the plan amendment, the plan administrator retains a list of participants with employer stock allocated to their accounts as of the effective date of the amendment, and a list of participants with shares of PQR limited partnership allocated to their accounts as of the effective date of the amendment. See paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) (A) and (B) of this Q&A-2.
(C) A plan amendment that limits non-cash distributions to a participant on termination of employment to a distribution of employer stock and shares of PQR limited partnership to the extent that those assets are allocated to the participant's account at the time of the distribution. See paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) (A) and (B) of thisQ&A-2.
(D) A plan amendment that limits non-cash distributions to a participant on termination of employment to a distribution of employer stock and shares of PQR limited partnership, and that provides that only participants with employer stock allocated to their accounts as of the effective date of the amendment have the right to distributions in the form of employer stock, and that only participants with shares of PQR limited partnership allocated to their accounts as of the effective date of the amendment have the right to distributions in the form of shares of PQR limited partnership, and that further provides that the distribution of that stock or those shares is available only to the extent that those assets are allocated to those participants' accounts at the time of the distribution. To comply with the plan amendment, the plan administrator retains a list of participants with employer stock allocated to their accounts as of the effective date of the amendment, and a list of participants with shares of PQR limited partnership allocated to their accounts as of the effective date of the amendment. See paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) (A) and (B) of thisQ&A-2.
Example 3.
(i) An employer maintains a stock bonus plan under which a participant, upon termination of employment, may elect to receive benefits in a single-sum distribution in employer stock. This is the only plan maintained by the employer under which distributions in employer stock are available. The employer decides to terminate the stock bonus plan.
(ii) If the plan makes available a single-sum distribution in employer stock on plan termination, the plan will not fail to satisfy section 411(d)(6) solely because the optional form of benefit providing a single-sum distribution in employer stock on termination of employment is modified to provide that such distribution is available only in cash. See paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(C) of this Q&A-2.
(iv) Coordination with diversification requirement. A tax credit employee stock ownership plan (as defined in section 409(a)) or an employee stock ownership plan (as defined in section 4975(e)(7)) may be amended to provide that a distribution is not available in employer securities to the extent that an employee elects to diversify benefits pursuant to section 401(a)(28).
(v) Involuntary distributions. A plan may be amended to provide for the involuntary distribution of an employee's benefit to the extent such involuntary distribution is permitted under sections 411(a)(11) and 417(e). Thus, for example, an involuntary distribution provision may be amended to require that an employee who terminates from employment with the employer receive a single sum distribution in the event that the present value of the employee's benefit is not more than $3,500, by substituting the cash-out limit in effect under § 1.411(a)-11(c)(3)(ii) for $3,500, without violating section 411(d)(6). In addition, for example, the employer may amend the plan to reduce the involuntary distribution threshold from the cash-out limit in effect under § 1.411(a)-11(c)(3)(ii) to any lower amount and to eliminate the involuntary single sum option for employees with benefits between the cash-out limit in effect under § 1.411(a)-11(c)(3)(ii) and such lower amount without violating section 411(d)(6). This rule does not permit a plan provision permitting employer discretion with respect to optional forms of benefit for employees the present value of whose benefit is less than the cash-out limit in effect under § 1.411(a)-11(c)(3)(ii).
(vi) Distribution exception for certain profit-sharing plans—
(A) In general. If a defined contribution plan that is not subject to section 412 and does not provide for an annuity option is terminated, the plan may be amended to provide for the distribution of a participant's accrued benefit upon termination in a single sum optional form without the participant's consent. The preceding sentence does not apply if the employer maintains any other defined contribution plan (other than an employee stock ownership plan as defined in section 4975(e)(7)).
(B) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph (b)(2)(vi) can be illustrated by the following examples:
Example 1.
Employer X maintains a defined contribution plan that is not subject to section 412. The plan provides for distribution in the form of equal installments over five years or equal installments over twenty years. X maintains no other defined contribution plans. X terminates its defined contribution plan after amending the plan to provide for the distribution of all participants' accrued benefits in the form of single sum distributions, without obtaining participant consent. Pursuant to the rule in this paragraph (b)(2)(iv), this amendment does not violate the requirements of section 411(d)(6).
Example 2.
Corporations X and Y are members of controlled group employer XY. Both X and Y maintain defined contribution plans. X's plan, which is not subject to section 412, covers only employees working for X. Y's plan, which is subject to section 412, covers only employees working for Y. X terminates its defined contribution plan. Because employer XY maintains another defined contribution plan, plan X may not provide for the distribution of participants' accrued benefits upon termination without a participants' consent.
(vii) Distribution of benefits on default of loans. Notwithstanding that the distribution of benefits arising from an execution on an account balance used to secure a loan on which there has been a default is an optional form of benefit, a plan may be amended to eliminate or change a provision for loans, even if such loans would be secured by an employee's account balance.
(viii) Provisions for transfer of benefits between and among defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans. A plan may be amended to eliminate provisions permitting the transfer of benefits between and among defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans.
(ix) De minimis change in the timing of an optional form of benefit. A plan may be amended to modify an optional form of benefit by changing the timing of the availability of such optional form if, after the change, the optional form is available at a time that is within two months of the time such optional form was available before the amendment. To the extent the optional form of benefit is available prior to termination of employment, six months may be substituted for two months in the prior sentence. Thus, for example, a plan that makes in-service distributions available to employees once every month may be amended to make such in-service distributions available only once every six months. This exception to section 411(d)(6) relates only to the timing of the availability of the optional form of benefit. Other aspects of an optional form of benefit may not be modified and the value of such optional form may not be reduced merely because of an amendment permitted by this exception.
(x) Amendment of hardship distribution standards. A qualified cash or deferred arrangement that permits hardship distributions under § 1.401(k)-1(d)(3) may be amended to specify or modify nondiscriminatory and objective standards for determining the existence of an immediate and heavy financial need, the amount necessary to meet the need, or other conditions relating to eligibility to receive a hardship distribution. For example, a plan will not be treated as violating section 411(d)(6) merely because it is amended to specify or modify the resources an employee must exhaust to qualify for a hardship distribution or to require employees to provide additional statements or representations to establish the existence of a hardship. A qualified cash or deferred arrangement may also be amended to eliminate hardship distributions. The provisions of this paragraph also apply to profit-sharing or stock bonus plans that permit hardship distributions, whether or not the hardship distributions are limited to those described in § 1.401(k)-1(d)(3).
(xi) Section 415 benefit limitations. Accrued benefits under a plan as of the first day of the first limitation year beginning after December 31, 1986, that exceed the benefit limitations under section 415 (b) or (e), effective on the first day of the plan's first limitation year beginning after December 31, 1986, because of a change in the terms and conditions of the plan made after May 5, 1986, or the establishment of a plan after that date, may be reduced to the level permitted under section 415 (b) or (e).
(xii) Prohibited payment option under single-employer defined benefit plan of plan sponsor in bankruptcy. A single-employer plan that is covered under section 4021 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, Public Law 93-406 (88 Stat. 829 (1974)), as amended (ERISA), may be amended, effective for a plan amendment that is both adopted and effective after November 8, 2012, to eliminate an optional form of benefit that includes a prohibited payment described in section 436(d)(5), provided that the following conditions are satisfied on the applicable amendment date (as defined in § 1.411(d)-3(g)(4)):
(A) The enrolled actuary of the plan has certified that the plan's adjusted funding target attainment percentage (as defined in section 436(j)(2)) for the plan year that contains the applicable amendment date is less than 100 percent.
(B) The plan is not permitted to pay any prohibited payment, due to application of the requirements of section 436(d)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code and section 206(g)(3)(B) of ERISA, because the plan sponsor is a debtor in a bankruptcy case (that is, a case under title 11, United States Code, or under similar Federal or State law).
(C) The court overseeing the bankruptcy case has issued an order, after notice to the affected parties (as defined in section 4001(a)(21) of ERISA) and a hearing, within the meaning of 11 U.S.C. 102(1), finding that the adoption of the amendment eliminating that optional form of benefit is necessary to avoid a distress termination of the plan pursuant to section 4041(c) of ERISA or an involuntary termination of the plan pursuant to section 4042 of ERISA before the plan sponsor emerges from bankruptcy (or before the bankruptcy case is otherwise completed).
(D) The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has issued a determination that—
(1) The adoption of the amendment eliminating that optional form of benefit is necessary to avoid a distress or involuntary termination of the plan before the plan sponsor emerges from bankruptcy (or before the bankruptcy case is otherwise completed); and
(2) The plan is not sufficient for guaranteed benefits within the meaning of section 4041(d)(2) of ERISA.
(c) Multiple amendments—
(1) General rule. A plan amendment violates the requirements of section 411(d)(6) if it is one of a series of plan amendments that, when taken together, have the effect of reducing or eliminating a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit in a manner that would be prohibited by section 411(d)(6) if accomplished through a single amendment.
(2) Determination of time period for combining plan amendments. For purposes of paragraph (c)(1) of this Q&A-2, generally only plan amendments adopted within a 3-year period are taken into account. But see Q&A-1(c)(1) of this section for rules relating to repeated plan amendments.
(d) ESOP and stock bonus plan exception—
(1) In general. Subject to the limitations in paragraph (d)(2) of this Q&A-2, a tax credit employee stock ownership plan (as defined in section 409(a)) or an employee stock ownership plan (as defined in section 4975(e)(7)) will not be treated as violating the requirements of section 411(d)(6) merely because of any of the circumstances described in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (d)(1)(iv) of this Q&A-2. In addition, a stock bonus plan that is not an employee stock ownership plan will not be treated as violating the requirements of section 411(d)(6) merely because of any of the circumstances described in paragraphs (d)(1)(ii) and (d)(1)(iv) of this Q&A-2.
(i) Single sum or installment optional forms of benefit. The employer eliminates, or retains the discretion to eliminate, with respect to all participants, a single sum optional form or installment optional form with respect to benefits that are subject to section 409(h)(1)(B), provided such elimination or retention of discretion is consistent with the distribution and payment requirements otherwise applicable to such plans (e.g., those required by section 409).
(ii) Employer becomes substantially employee-owned or is an S corporation. The employer eliminates, or retains the discretion to eliminate, with respect to all participants, optional forms of benefit by substituting cash distributions for distributions in the form of employer stock with respect to benefits subject to section 409(h) in the circumstances described in paragraph (d)(1)(ii)(A) or (B) of this Q&A-2, but only if the employer otherwise meets the requirements of section 409(h)(2)—
(A) The employer becomes substantially employee-owned; or
(B) For taxable years of the employer beginning after December 31, 1997, the employer is an S corporation as defined in section 1361.
(iii) Employer securities become readily tradable. The employer eliminates, or retains the discretion to eliminate, with respect to all participants, in cases in which the employer securities become readily tradable, optional forms of benefit by substituting distributions in the form of employer securities for distributions in cash with respect to benefits that are subject to section 409(h).
(iv) Employer securities cease to be readily tradable or certain sales. The employer eliminates, or retains the discretion to eliminate, with respect to all participants, optional forms of benefit by substituting cash distributions for distributions in the form of employer stock with respect to benefits that are subject to section 409(h) in the following circumstances:
(A) The employer stock ceases to be readily tradable;
(B) The employer stock continues to be readily tradable but there is a sale of substantially all of the stock of the employer or a sale of substantially all of the assets of a trade or business of the employer and, in either situation, the purchasing employer continues to maintain the plan.
In the situation described in paragraph (d)(1)(iv)(B) of this Q&A-2, the employer may also substitute distributions in the purchasing employer's stock for distributions in the form of employer stock of the predecessor employer.
(2) Limitations on ESOP and stock bonus plan exceptions—
(i) Nondiscrimination requirement. Plan amendments and the retention and exercise of discretion permitted under the exceptions in paragraph (d)(1) must meet the nondiscrimination requirements of section 401(a)(4).
(ii) ESOP investment requirement. Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this Q&A-2, benefits provided by employee stock ownership plans will not be eligible for the exceptions in paragraph (d)(1) of this Q&A-2 unless the benefits have been held in a tax credit employee stock ownership plan (as defined in section 409 (a)) or an employee stock ownership plan (as defined in section 4975 (e)(7)) subject to section 409 (h) for the five-year period prior to the exercise of employer discretion or any amendment affecting such benefits and permitted under paragraph (d)(1) of this Q&A-2. For purposes of the preceding sentence, if benefits held under an employee stock ownership plan are transferred to a plan that is an employee stock ownership plan at the time of transfer, then the consecutive periods under the transferor and transferee employee stock ownership plans may be aggregated for purposes of meeting the five-year requirement. If the benefits are held in an employee stock ownership plan throughout the entire period of their existence, and such total period of existence is less than five years, then such lesser period may be substituted for the five year requirement.
(3) Effective date. The provisions of this paragraph (d) are effective beginning with the first day of the first plan year commencing on or after January 1, 1989. Prior to this effective date the reduction or elimination of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit by a tax credit employee stock ownership plan (as defined in section 409(a)) or an employee stock ownership plan (as defined in section 4975(e)(7)) will not be treated as violating the requirements of section 411(d)(6) if such reduction or elimination reflects a reasonable interpretation of the statutory language of section 411(d)(6)(C).
(4) Additional exceptions and requirements. The Commissioner may, in revenue rulings, notices or other documents of general applicability, prescribe such additional rules and exceptions, consistent with the purposes of this section, as may be necessary or appropriate.
(e) Permitted plan amendments affecting alternative forms of payment under defined contribution plans—
(1) General rule. A defined contribution plan does not violate the requirements of section 411(d)(6) merely because the plan is amended to eliminate or restrict the ability of a participant to receive payment of accrued benefits under a particular optional form of benefit for distributions with annuity starting dates after the date the amendment is adopted if, after the plan amendment is effective with respect to the participant, the alternative forms of payment available to the participant include payment in a single-sum distribution form that is otherwise identical to the optional form of benefit that is being eliminated or restricted.
(2) Otherwise identical single-sum distribution. For purposes of this paragraph (e), a single-sum distribution form is otherwise identical to an optional form of benefit that is eliminated or restricted pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this Q&A-2 only if the single-sum distribution form is identical in all respects to the eliminated or restricted optional form of benefit (or would be identical except that it provides greater rights to the participant) except with respect to the timing of payments after commencement. For example, a single-sum distribution form is not otherwise identical to a specified installment form of benefit if the single-sum distribution form is not available for distribution on the date on which the installment form would have been available for commencement, is not available in the same medium of distribution as the installment form, or imposes any condition of eligibility that did not apply to the installment form. However, an otherwise identical distribution form need not retain rights or features of the optional form of benefit that is eliminated or restricted to the extent that those rights or features would not be protected from elimination or restriction under section 411(d)(6) or this section.
(3) Example. The following example illustrates the application of this paragraph (e):
Example.
(i) P is a participant in Plan M, a qualified profit-sharing plan with a calendar plan year that is invested in mutual funds. The distribution forms available to P under Plan M include a distribution of P's vested account balance under Plan M in the form of distribution of various annuity contract forms (including a single life annuity and a joint and survivor annuity). The annuity payments under the annuity contract forms begin as of the first day of the month following P's severance from employment (or as of the first day of any subsequent month, subject to the requirements of section 401(a)(9)). P has not previously elected payment of benefits in the form of a life annuity, and Plan M is not a direct or indirect transferee of any plan that is a defined benefit plan or a defined contribution plan that is subject to section 412. Distributions on the death of a participant are made in accordance with plan provisions that comply with section 401(a)(11)(B)(iii)(I). On September 2, 2005, Plan M is amended so that, effective for payments that begin on or after November 1, 2005, P is no longer entitled to any distribution in the form of the distribution of an annuity contract. However, after the amendment is effective, P is entitled to receive a single-sum cash distribution of P's vested account balance under Plan M payable as of the first day of the month following P's severance from employment (or as of the first day of any subsequent month, subject to the requirements of section 401(a)(9)).
(ii) Plan M does not violate the requirements of section 411(d)(6) (or section 401(a)(11)) merely because, as of November 1, 2005, the plan amendment has eliminated P's option to receive a distribution in any of the various annuity contract forms previously available.
(4) Effective date. This paragraph (e) is applicable on January 25, 2005.
Q-3Does the transfer of benefits between and among defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans (or similar transactions) violate the requirements of section 411(d)(6)?
A-3(a) Transfers and similar transactions—(1) General rule.Section 411(d)(6) protected benefits may not be eliminated by reason of transfer or any transaction amending or having the effect of amending a plan or plans to transfer benefits. Thus, for example, except as otherwise provided in this section, an employer who maintains a money purchase pension plan that provides for a single sum optional form of benefit may not establish another plan that does not provide for this optional form of benefit and transfer participants' account balances to such new plan.
(2) Defined benefit feature and separate account feature. The defined benefit feature of an employee's benefit under a defined benefit plan and the separate account feature of an employee's benefit under a defined contribution plan are section 411(d)(6) protected benefits. Thus, for example, the elimination of the defined benefit feature of an employee's benefit under a defined benefit plan, through transfer of benefits from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan or plans, will violate section 411(d)(6).
(3) Waiver prohibition. In general, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this Q&A-3, a participant may not elect to waive section 411(d)(6) protected benefits. Thus, for example, the elimination of the defined benefit feature of a participant's benefit under a defined benefit plan by reason of a transfer of such benefits to a defined contribution plan pursuant to a participant election, at a time when the benefit is not distributable to the participant, violates section 411(d)(6).
(4) Direct rollovers. A direct rollover described in Q&A-3 of § 1.401(a)(31)-1 that is paid to a qualified plan is not a transfer of assets and liabilities that must satisfy the requirements of section 414(l), and is not a transfer of benefits for purposes of applying the requirements under section 411(d)(6) and paragraph (a)(1) of this Q&A-3. Therefore, for example, if such a direct rollover is made to another qualified plan, the receiving plan is not required to provide, with respect to amounts paid to it in a direct rollover, the same optional forms of benefit that were provided under the plan that made the direct rollover. See § 1.401(a)(31)-1, Q&A-14.
(b) Elective transfers of benefits between defined contribution plans—
(1) General rule. A transfer of a participant's entire benefit between qualified defined contribution plans (other than any direct rollover described in Q&A-3 of § 1.401(a)(31)-1) that results in the elimination or reduction of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits does not violate section 411(d)(6) if the following requirements are met—
(i) Voluntary election. The plan from which the benefits are transferred must provide that the transfer is conditioned upon a voluntary, fully-informed election by the participant to transfer the participant's entire benefit to the other qualified defined contribution plan. As an alternative to the transfer, the participant must be offered the opportunity to retain the participant's section 411(d)(6) protected benefits under the plan (or, if the plan is terminating, to receive any optional form of benefit for which the participant is eligible under the plan as required by section 411(d)(6)).
(ii) Types of plans to which transfers may be made. To the extent the benefits are transferred from a money purchase pension plan, the transferee plan must be a money purchase pension plan. To the extent the benefits being transferred are part of a qualified cash or deferred arrangement under section 401(k), the benefits must be transferred to a qualified cash or deferred arrangement under section 401(k). To the extent the benefits being transferred are part of an employee stock ownership plan as defined in section 4975(e)(7), the benefits must be transferred to another employee stock ownership plan. Benefits transferred from a profit-sharing plan other than from a qualified cash or deferred arrangement, or from a stock bonus plan other than an employee stock ownership plan, may be transferred to any type of defined contribution plan.
(iii) Circumstances under which transfers may be made. The transfer must be made either in connection with an asset or stock acquisition, merger, or other similar transaction involving a change in employer of the employees of a trade or business (i.e., an acquisition or disposition within the meaning of § 1.410(b)-2(f)) or in connection with the participant's change in employment status to an employment status with respect to which the participant is not entitled to additional allocations under the transferor plan.
(2) Applicable qualification requirements. A transfer described in this paragraph (b) is a transfer of assets or liabilities within the meaning of section 414(l)(1) and, thus, must satisfy the requirements of section 414(l). In addition, this paragraph (b) only provides relief under section 411(d)(6); a transfer described in this paragraph must satisfy all other applicable qualification requirements. Thus, for example, if the survivor annuity requirements of sections 401(a)(11) and 417 apply to the plan from which the benefits are transferred, as described in this paragraph (b), but do not otherwise apply to the receiving plan, the requirements of sections 401(a)(11) and 417 must be met with respect to the transferred benefits under the receiving plan. In addition, the vesting provisions under the receiving plan must satisfy the requirements of section 411(a)(10) with respect to the amounts transferred.
(3) Status of elective transfer as other right or feature. A right to a transfer of benefits from a plan pursuant to the elective transfer rules of this paragraph (b) is an other right or feature within the meaning of § 1.401(a)(4)-4(e)(3), the availability of which is subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of section 401(a)(4) and § 1.401(a)(4)-4. However, for purposes of applying the rules of § 1.401(a)(4)-4, the following conditions are to be disregarded in determining the employees to whom the other right or feature is available—
(i) A condition restricting the availability of the transfer to benefits of participants who are transferred to a different employer in connection with a specified asset or stock disposition, merger, or other similar transaction involving a change in employer of the employees of a trade or business (i.e., a disposition within the meaning of § 1.410(b)-2(f)), or in connection with any such disposition, merger, or other similar transaction.
(ii) A condition restricting the availability of the transfer to benefits of participants who have a change in employment status to an employment status with respect to which the participant is not entitled to additional allocations under the transferor plan.
(c) Elective transfers of certain distributable benefits between qualified plans—
(1) In general. A transfer of a participant's benefits between qualified plans that results in the elimination or reduction of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits does not violate section 411(d)(6) if—
(i) The transfer occurs at a time at which the participant's benefits are distributable (within the meaning of paragraph (c)(3) of this Q&A-3);
(ii) For a transfer that occurs on or after January 1, 2002, the transfer occurs at a time at which the participant is not eligible to receive an immediate distribution of the participant's entire nonforfeitable accrued benefit in a single-sum distribution that would consist entirely of an eligible rollover distribution within the meaning of section 401(a)(31)(C);
(iii) The voluntary election requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this Q&A-3 are met;
(iv) The participant is fully vested in the transferred benefit in the transferee plan;
(v) In the case of a transfer from a defined contribution plan to a defined benefit plan, the defined benefit plan provides a minimum benefit, for each participant whose benefits are transferred, equal to the benefit, expressed as an annuity payable at normal retirement age, that is derived solely on the basis of the amount transferred with respect to such participant; and
(vi) The amount of the benefit transferred, together with the amount of any contemporaneous section 401(a)(31) direct rollover to the transferee plan, equals the entire nonforfeitable accrued benefit under the transferor plan of the participant whose benefit is being transferred, calculated to be at least the greater of the single-sum distribution provided for under the plan for which the participant is eligible (if any) or the present value of the participant's accrued benefit payable at normal retirement age (calculated by using interest and mortality assumptions that satisfy the requirements of section 417(e) and subject to the limitations imposed by section 415).
(2) Treatment of transfer—
(i) In general. A transfer of benefits pursuant to this paragraph (c) generally is treated as a distribution for purposes of section 401(a). For example, the transfer is subject to the cash-out rules of section 411(a)(7), the early termination requirements of section 411(d)(2), and the survivor annuity requirements of sections 401(a)(11) and 417. A transfer pursuant to the elective transfer rules of this paragraph (c) is not treated as a distribution for purposes of the minimum distribution requirements of section 401(a)(9).
(ii) Status of elective transfer as optional form of benefit. A right to a transfer of benefits from a plan pursuant to the elective transfer rules of this paragraph (c) is an optional form of benefit under section 411(d)(6), the availability of which is subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of section 401(a)(4) and § 1.401(a)(4)-4.
(3) Distributable benefits. For purposes of paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this Q&A-3, a participant's benefits are distributable on a particular date if, on that date, the participant is eligible, under the terms of the plan from which the benefits are transferred, to receive an immediate distribution of these benefits (e.g., in the form of an immediately commencing annuity) from that plan under provisions of the plan not inconsistent with section 401(a).
(d) Effective date. This Q&A-3 is applicable for transfers made on or after September 6, 2000.
Q-4: May a plan provide that the employer may, through the exercise of discretion, deny a participant a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit for which the participant is otherwise eligible?
A-4: (a) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of Q&A-2 of this section with respect to certain employee stock ownership plans, a plan that permits the employer, either directly or indirectly, through the exercise of discretion, to deny a participant a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit provided under the plan for which the participant is otherwise eligible (but for the employer's exercise of discretion) violates the requirements of section 411(d)(6). A plan provision that makes a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit available only to those employees as the employer may designate is within the scope of this prohibition. Thus, for example, a plan provision under which only employees who are designated by the employer are eligible to receive a subsidized early retirement benefit constitutes an impermissible provision under section 411(d)(6). In addition, a pension plan that permits employer discretion to deny the availability of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit violates the definitely determinable requirement of section 401(a), including section 401(a)(25). See § 1.401-1(b)(1)(i). This is the result even if the plan specifically limits the employer's discretion to choosing among section 411(d)(6) protected benefits, including optional forms of benefit, that are actuarially equivalent. In addition, the provisions of sections 411(a)(11) and 417(e) that allow a plan to make involuntary distributions of certain amounts are not excepted from this limitation on employer discretion. Thus, for example, a plan may not permit employer discretion with respect to whether benefits will be distributed involuntarily in the event that the present value of the employee's benefit is not more than the cash-out limit in effect under § 1.411(a)-11(c)(3)(ii) within the meaning of sections 411(a)(11) and 417(e). (An exception is provided for such provisions with respect to the nondiscrimination requirements of section 401(a)(4). See § 1.401(a)(4)-4(b)(2)(ii)(C).)
(b) Exception for administrative discretion. A plan may permit limited discretion with respect to the ministerial or mechanical administration of the plan, including the application of objective plan criteria specifically set forth in the plan. Such plan provisions do not violate the requirements of section 411(d)(6) or the definitely determinable requirement of section 401(a), including section 401(a)(25). For example, these requirements are not violated by the following provisions that permit limited administrative discretion:
(1) Commencement of benefit payments as soon as administratively feasible after a stated date or event;
(2) Employer authority to determine whether objective criteria specified in the plan (e.g., objective criteria designed to identify those employees with a heavy and immediate financial need or objective criteria designed to determine whether an employee has a permanent and total disability) have been satisfied; and
(3) Employer authority to determine, pursuant to specific guidelines set forth in the plan, whether the participant or spouse is dead or cannot be located.
Q-5: When will the exercise of discretion by some person or persons, other than the employer, be treated as employer discretion?
A-5: For purposes of applying the rules of this section and § 1.401(a)-4, the term “employer” includes plan administrator, fiduciary, trustee, actuary, independent third party, and other persons. Thus, if a plan permits any person, other than the participant (and other than the participant's spouse), the discretion to deny or limit the availability of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit for which the employee is otherwise eligible under the plan (but for the exercise of such discretion), such plan violates the requirements of sections 401(a), including section 411(d)(6) and, where applicable, the definitely determinable requirement of section 401(a), including section 401(a)(25).
Q-6: May a plan condition the availability of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit on the satisfaction of objective conditions that are specifically set forth in the plan?
A-6: (a) Certain objective conditions permissible—(1) In general. The availability of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit may be limited to employees who satisfy certain objective conditions provided the conditions are ascertainable, clearly set forth in the plan and not subject to the employer's discretion except to the extent reasonably necessary to determine whether the objective conditions have been met. Also, the availability of the section 411(d)(6) protected benefit must meet the nondiscrimination requirements of section 401(a)(4). See § 1.401(a)-4.
(2) Examples of permissible conditions. The following examples illustrate of permissible objective conditions: a plan may deny a single sum distribution form to employees for whom life insurance is not available at standard rates as defined under the terms of the plan at the time the single sum distribution would otherwise be payable; a plan may provide that a single sum distribution is available only if the employee is in extreme financial need as defined under the terms of the plan at the time the single sum distribution would otherwise be payable; a plan my condition the availability of a single sum distribution on the execution of a covenant not to compete, provided that objective conditions with respect to the terms of such covenant and the employees and circumstances requiring execution of such covenant are set forth in the plan.
(b) Conditions based on factors within employer's discretion generally impermissible. A plan may not limit the availability of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits permitted under the plan on objective conditions that are within the employer's discretion. For example, the availability of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits in a plan may not be conditioned on a determination with respect to the level of the plan's funded status, because the amount of plan funding is within the employer's discretion. However, for example, although conditions based on the plan's funded status are impermissible, a plan may limit the availability of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit (e.g., a single sum distribution) in an objective manner, such as the following:
(1) Single sum distributions of $25,000 and less are available without limit; and
(2) Single sum distributions in excess of $25,000 are available for a year only to the extent that the total amount of such single sum distributions for the year is not greater than $5,000,000; and
(3) An objective and nondiscriminatory method for determining which particular single sum distributions will not be available during a year in order for the $5,000,000 limit to be satisfied is set forth in the plan.
Q-7: May a plan be amended to add employer discretion or conditions restricting the availability of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit?
A-7: No. The addition of employer discretion or objective conditions with respect to a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit that has already accrued violates section 411(d)(6). Also, the addition of conditions (whether or not objective) or any change to existing conditions with respect to section 411(d)(6) protected benefits that results in any further restriction violates section 411(d)(6). However, the addition of objective conditions to a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit may be made with respect to benefits accrued after the later of the adoption or effective date of the amendment. In addition, objective conditions may be imposed on section 411(d)(6) protected benefits accrued as of the date of an amendment where permitted under the transitional rules of § 1.401(a)-4 Q&A-5 and Q&A-8 of this section. Finally, objective conditions may be imposed on section 411(d)(6) protected benefits to the extent permitted by the permissible benefit cutback provisions of Q&A-2 of this section.
Q-8: If a plan contains an impermissible employer discretion provision with respect to a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit, what acceptable alternative exist for amending the plan without violating the requirements of section 411(d)(6)?
A-8: (a) In general. The following rules apply for purposes of making necessary amendments to existing plans (as defined in Q&A-9 of this section) that contain discretion provisions with respect to the availability of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits that violate the requirements of section 401(a), including sections 401(a)(25) and 411(d)(6), and this section. These transitional rules are provided under the authority of section 411(d)(6) and section 7805(b).
(b) Transitional alternatives. If the availability of an optional forms of benefit, early or late retirement benefit, or retirement-type subsidy under an existing plan is conditioned on the exercise of employer discretion, the plan must be amended either to eliminate the optional form of benefit, early or late retirement benefit, or retirement-type subsidy to make such benefit available to all participants without limitation, or to apply objective and nondiscriminatory conditions to the availability of the optional form of benefit, early or later retirement benefit, or retirement-type subsidy. See paragraph (d) of this Q&A-8 for rules limiting the period during which section 411(d)(6) protected benefits may be eliminated or reduced under this paragraph.
(c) Compliance and amendment date provisions—
(1) Operational compliance requirement. On or before the applicable effective date for the plan (as determined under Q&A-9 of this section), the plan sponsor must select one of the alternatives permitted under paragraph (b) of the Q&A-8 with respect to each affected section 411(d)(6) protected benefit and the plan must be operated in accordance with this selection. This is an operational requirement and does not require a plan amendment prior to the period set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this Q&A-8. There are no special reporting requirements under the Code or this section with respect to this selection.
(2) Deferred amendment date. If paragraph (c)(1) of this Q&A-8 is satisfied, a plan amendment conforming the plan to the particular alternative selected under paragraph (b) of this Q&A-8 must be adopted within the time period permitted for amending plans in order to meet the requirements of section 410(b) as amended by TRA '86. The plan amendment to conform the plan to these regulations may be made at an earlier date. Such conforming amendment must be consistent with the sponsor's selection as reflected by plan practice during the period from the effective date to the date the amendment is adopted. Thus, for example, if any existing calendar year noncollectively bargained defined benefit plan has a single sum distribution option that is subject to employer discretion as of August 1, 1986, and such employer makes one or more single sum distributions available on or after January 1, 1989 and before the effective date by which plan amendment is required pursuant to this section, then such employer may not adopt a plan amendment eliminating the single sum distribution, but rather must adopt an amendment eliminating the discretion provision. Any objective conditions that are adopted as part of such amendment must not be inconsistent with the plan practice for the applicable period prior to the amendment. A conforming amendment under this paragraph (c)(2) must be made with respect to each section 411(d)(6) protected benefit for which such amendment is required and must be retroactive to the applicable effective date.
(d) Limitation on transitional alternatives. The transitional alternatives permitting the elimination or reduction of section 411(d)(6) protected benefits are only permissible until the applicable effective date for the plan (see Q&A-9 of this section). After the applicable effective date, any amendment (other than one permitted under paragraph (c)(2) of this Q&A-8) that eliminates or reduces a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit or imposes new objective conditions on the availability of such benefit will fail to qualify for the exception to section 411(d)(6) provided in this Q&A-8. This is the case without regard to whether the section 411(d)(6) protected benefit is subject to employer discretion.
Q-9: What are the applicable effective date rules for purposes of this section?
A-9: (a) General effective date. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the provisions of this section are effective January 30, 1986.
(b) New plans—
(1) In general. Unless otherwise provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this Q&A-9, plans that are either adopted or made effective on or after August 1, 1986, are “new plans”. With respect to such new plans, this section is effective August 1, 1986. This effective date is applicable to such plans whether or not they are collectively bargained.
(2) Exception with respect to certain new plans. Plans that are new plans as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this Q&A-9; under which the availability of a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit is subject to employer discretion; and that receive a favorable determination letter that covered such plan provisions with respect to an application submitted prior to July 11, 1988, will be treated as existing plans with respect to such section 411(d)(6) protected benefit for purposes of the transitional rules of this section. Thus, such plans are eligible for the compliance and amendment alternatives set forth in the transitional rule in Q&A-8 of this section.
(c) Existing plans—
(1) In general. Plans, including plans that are adoptions of master or prototype plans, that are both adopted and in effect prior to August 1, 1986, are “existing plans” for purposes of this section. In addition, a plan that is established after July 31, 1986, but before January 1, 1989, as an initial adoption of a master or prototype plan for which a favorable opinion letter was issued by the Service after July 18, 1985 and before January 1, 1989, will be deemed to be an existing plan for purposes of this section. See sections 4.01 and 4.02 of Rev. Proc. 84-23, 1984-1 C.B. 457, 459, for the definitions of master prototype plans. However, if such plan ceases to be covered under an opinion letter of the type described above, as a result of amendment of the plan or adoption of a new plan, prior to the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 1989, then the effective date for such plan will be determined as though the plan were a new plan initially adopted as of the date of such amendment or adoption of a new plan. Finally, new plans described in paragraph (b)(2) of this Q&A-9 are treated as existing plans with respect to certain section 411(d)(6) protected benefits. Subject to the limitations in paragraph (c) of this Q&A-9, the effective dates set forth in paragraphs (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this Q&A-9 apply to these existing plans for purposes of this section:
(2) Existing noncollectively bargained plans. With respect to existing plans other than collectively bargained plans this section is effective for the first day of the first plan year commencing on or after January 1, 1989.
(3) Existing collectively bargained plans. With respect to existing collectively bargained plans this section is effective for the later of the first day of the first plan year commencing on or after January 1, 1989, or the first day of the first plan year that the requirements of section 410(b) as amended by TRA '86 apply to such plan.
(4) Existing master and prototype plans. With respect to existing plans that are adoptions of master or prototype plans the effective date will be the first day of the first plan year commencing on or after January 1, 1989.
(d) Delayed effective date not applicable to new alternatives or conditions—
(1) In general. The delayed effective dates in paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(3) of this Q&A-9 for existing plans are only applicable with respect to a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit if both the section 411(d)(6) protected benefit and the condition providing employer discretion as to the availability of such benefit are both adopted and in effect prior to August 1, 1986. If the preceding sentence is not satisfied with respect to a particular section 411(d)(6) protected benefit, this section is effective with respect to such section 411(d)(6) protected benefit as if the plan were a new plan.
(2) Addition of discretion on or after January 30, 1986. The delayed effective dates in paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(3) of this Q&A-9 are not available with respect to any section 411(d)(6) protected benefit if the section 411(d)(6) protected benefit was provided for in the plan prior to January 30, 1986, and the availability of such benefit was made subject to the exercise of employer discretion on or after January 30, 1986. If the conditions set forth in this paragraph are not satisfied with respect to a particular section 411(d)(6) protected benefit, this section is effective with respect to such section 411(d)(6) protected benefit as if the plan were a new plan. A limited exception is provided with respect to existing plans that provided a particular section 411(d)(6) protected benefit prior to January 30, 1986, and then amended the plan after January 30, 1986, and before August 1, 1986, to add a provision for employer discretion with respect to the availability of such benefit. Such plans are required to have been amended retroactively by December 31, 1987, to remove such provision for employer discretion, and, if the benefit made subject to such discretion was subsequently eliminated, the plan is required to have been further amended, by the same date, to retroactively reinstate the benefit.
(3) Exception for certain amendments covered by a favorable determination letter. If an amendment adding a section 411(d)(6) protected benefit subject to employer discretion was adopted or made effective after August 1, 1986, and the plan receives a favorable determination letter covering such provision with respect to an application for such letter made prior to July 11, 1988, then the effective date for purposes of amending such provision under the transitional rules is the applicable effective date determined under the rules with respect to existing plans.
(e) Transitional rule effective date. The transitional rule provided in Q&A-8 of this section is effective January 30, 1986.
Q-10: If a plan provides for an age 701/2 distribution option that commences prior to retirement from employment with the employer maintaining the plan, to what extent may the plan be amended to eliminate this distribution option?
A-10: (a) In general. The right to commence benefit distributions in a particular form and at a particular time prior to retirement from employment with the employer maintaining the plan is a separate optional form of benefit within the meaning of section 411(d)(6)(B) and Q&A-1 of this section, even if the plan provision creating this right was included in the plan solely to comply with section 401(a)(9), as in effect for years before January 1, 1997. Therefore, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this Q&A-10 or any other Q&A in this section, a plan amendment violates section 411(d)(6) if it eliminates an age 701/2 distribution option (within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this Q&A-10) to the extent that it applies to benefits accrued as of the later of the adoption date or effective date of the amendment.
(b) Permitted elimination of age 701/2 distribution option. An amendment of a plan will not violate the requirements of section 411(d)(6) merely because the amendment eliminates an age 701/2 distribution option to the extent that the option provides for distribution to an employee prior to retirement from employment with the employer maintaining the plan, provided that—
(1) The amendment eliminating this optional form of benefit applies only to benefits with respect to employees who attain age 701/2 in or after a calendar year, specified in the amendment, that begins after the later of—
(i) December 31, 1998; or
(ii) The adoption date of the amendment;
(2) The plan does not, except to the extent required by section 401(a)(9), preclude an employee who retires after the calendar year in which the employee attains age 701/2 from receiving benefits in any of the same optional forms of benefit (except for the difference in the timing of the commencement of payments) that would have been available had the employee retired in the calendar year in which the employee attained age 701/2; and
(3) The amendment is adopted no later than—
(i) The last day of the remedial amendment period that applies to the plan for changes under the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 (110 Stat. 1755); or
(ii) Solely in the case of a plan maintained pursuant to one or more collective bargaining agreements between employee representatives and one or more employers ratified before September 3, 1998, the last day of the twelfth month beginning after the date on which the last of such collective bargaining agreements terminates (determined without regard to any extension thereof on or after September 3, 1998), if later than the date described in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this Q&A-10. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(3)(ii), the rules of § 1.410(b)-10(a)(2) apply for purposes of determining whether a plan is maintained pursuant to one or more collective bargaining agreements, except that September 3, 1998 is substituted for March 1, 1986, as the date before which the collective bargaining agreements must be ratified.
(c) Age 701/2 distribution option. For purposes of this Q&A-10, an age 701/2 distribution option is an optional form of benefit under which benefits payable in a particular distribution form (including any modifications that may be elected after benefit commencement) commence at a time during the period that begins on or after January 1 of the calendar year in which an employee attains age 701/2 and ends April 1 of the immediately following calendar year.
(d) Examples. The provisions of this Q&A-10 are illustrated by the following examples:
Example 1.
Plan A, a defined benefit plan, provides each participant with a qualified joint and survivor annuity (QJSA) that is available at any time after the later of age 65 or retirement. However, in accordance with section 401(a)(9) as in effect prior to January 1, 1997, Plan A provides that if an employee does not retire by the end of the calendar year in which the employee attains age 701/2, then the QJSA commences on the following April 1. On October 1, 1998, Plan A is amended to provide that, for an employee who is not a 5-percent owner and who attains age 701/2 after 1998, benefits may not commence before the employee retires but must commence no later than the April 1 following the later of the calendar year in which the employee retires or the calendar year in which the employee attains age 701/2. This amendment satisfies this Q&A-10 and does not violate section 411(d)(6).
Example 2.
Plan B, a money purchase pension plan, provides each participant with a choice of a QJSA or a single sum distribution commencing at any time after the later of age 65 or retirement. In addition, in accordance with section 401(a)(9) as in effect prior to January 1, 1997, Plan B provides that benefits will commence in the form of a QJSA on April 1 following the calendar year in which the employee attains age 701/2, except that, with spousal consent, a participant may elect to receive annual installment payments equal to the minimum amount necessary to satisfy section 401(a)(9) (calculated in accordance with a method specified in the plan) until retirement, at which time a participant may choose between a QJSA and a single sum distribution (with spousal consent). On June 30, 1998, Plan B is amended to provide that, for an employee who is not a 5-percent owner and who attains age 701/2 after 1998, benefits may not commence prior to retirement but benefits must commence no later than April 1 after the later of the calendar year in which the employee retires or the calendar year in which the employee attains age 701/2. The amendment further provides that the option described above to receive annual installment payments prior to retirement will not be available under the plan to an employee who is not a 5-percent owner and who attains age 701/2 after 1998. This amendment satisfies this Q&A-10 and does not violate section 411(d)(6).
Example 3.
Plan C, a profit-sharing plan, contains two distribution provisions. Under the first provision, in any year after an employee attains age 591/2, the employee may elect a distribution of any specified amount not exceeding the balance of the employee's account. In addition, the plan provides a section 401(a)(9) override provision under which, if, during any year following the year that the employee attains age 701/2, the employee does not elect an amount at least equal to the minimum amount necessary to satisfy section 401(a)(9) (calculated in accordance with a method specified in the plan), Plan C will distribute the difference by December 31 of that year (or for the year the employee attains age 701/2, by April 1 of the following year). On December 31, 1996, Plan C is amended to provide that, for an employee other than an employee who is a 5-percent owner in the year the employee attains age 701/2, in applying the section 401(a)(9) override provision, the later of the year of retirement or year of attainment of age 701/2, is substituted for the year of attainment of age 701/2. After the amendment, Plan C still permits each employee to elect to receive the same amount as was available before the amendment. Because this amendment does not eliminate an optional form of benefit, the amendment does not violate section 411(d)(6). Accordingly, the amendment is not required to satisfy the conditions of paragraph (b) of this Q&A-10.
(e) Effective date. This Q&A-10 applies to amendments adopted and effective after June 5, 1998.
Q-11: To what extent may a plan amendment that is made pursuant to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA '97) (Public Law 105-34, 111 Stat. 788), reduce or eliminate section 411(d)(6) protected benefits?
A-11: A plan amendment does not violate the requirements of section 411(d)(6) merely because the plan amendment reduces or eliminates section 411(d)(6) protected benefits as of the effective date of the plan amendment, provided that—
(a) The plan amendment is made pursuant to an amendment made by title XV, or subtitle H of title X, of TRA '97; and
(b) The plan amendment is adopted no later than the last day of any remedial amendment period that applies to the plan pursuant to §§ 1.401(b)-1 and 1.401(b)-1T for changes under TRA '97.
Q-12. Is there a transition period during which a plan is permitted to eliminate a right to in-service distributions in connection with an amendment to ensure that the plan's normal retirement age satisfies the requirements of § 1.401(a)-1(b)(2)?
A-12. (a) In general. A plan amendment that changes the normal retirement age under the plan to a later normal retirement age pursuant to § 1.401(a)-1(b)(2) does not violate section 411(d)(6) merely because it eliminates a right to an in-service distribution prior to the amended normal retirement age. However, this paragraph does not provide relief from any other applicable requirements; for example, this relief does not permit the amendment to violate section 411(a)(9) (requiring that the normal retirement benefit not be less than the greater of any early retirement benefit payable under the plan or the benefit under the plan commencing at normal retirement age), section 411(a)(10) (if the amendment changes the plan's vesting rules), section 411(d)(6) (other than elimination of the right to an in-service distribution prior to the amended normal retirement age), or section 4980F (relating to an amendment that reduces the rate of future benefit accrual). This paragraph only applies to a plan amendment that is adopted after May 22, 2007 and on or before the last day of the applicable remedial amendment period under § 1.401(b)-1 with respect to the requirements of § 1.401(a)-1(b)(2) and (3).
(b) Example. The following example illustrates the application of this section:
(i) Facts. (A) Plan A is a defined benefit plan intended to be qualified under section 401(a). Plan A is maintained by a calendar year taxpayer and has a normal retirement age that is age 45. For employees who cease employment before normal retirement age with a vested benefit, Plan A permits benefits to commence at any date after the attainment of normal retirement age through attainment of age 701/2 and provides for benefits to be actuarially increased to the extent they commence after normal retirement age. For employees who continue employment after attainment of normal retirement age, Plan A provides for benefits to continue to accrue and permits benefits to commence at any time, with an actuarial increase in benefits to apply to the extent benefits do not commence after normal retirement age. Age 45 is an age that is earlier than the earliest age that is reasonably representative of the typical retirement age for the industry in which the covered workforce is employed.
(B) On February 18, 2008, Plan A is amended, effective May 22, 2007, to change its normal retirement age to the later of age 65 or the fifth anniversary of participation in the plan. The amendment provides full vesting for any participating employee who is employed on May 21, 2007, and who terminates employment on or after attaining age 45. The amendment provides employees who cease employment before the revised normal retirement age and who are entitled to a vested benefit with the right to be able to commence benefits at any date from age 45 to age 701/2. The plan amendment also revises the plan's benefit accrual formula so that the benefit for prior service (payable commencing at the revised normal retirement age or any other age after age 45) is not less than would have applied under the plan's formula before the amendment (also payable commencing at the corresponding dates), based on the benefit accrued on May 21, 2007, and provides for service thereafter to have the same rate of future benefit accrual. Thus, for any participant employed on May 21, 2007, with respect to benefits accrued for service after May 21, 2007, the amount payable under the plan (as amended) at any benefit commencement date after age 45 is the same amount that would have been payable at that benefit commencement date under the plan prior to amendment. The plan amendment also eliminates the right to an in-service distribution between age 45 and the revised normal retirement age. Plan A has been operated since May 22, 2007, in conformity with the amendment adopted on February 18, 2008.
(ii) Conclusion. The plan amendment does not violate section 411(d)(6). Although the amendment eliminates the right to commence benefits in-service between age 45 and the revised normal retirement age, the amendment is made before the last day of the remedial amendment period applicable to the plan under § 1.401(b)-1 with respect to the requirements of § 1.401(a)-1(b)(2) and (3), and therefore the amendment is permitted under paragraph (a) of this A-12. Further, the amendment does not result in a reduction in any benefit for service after May 22, 2007.
Thus, the amendment does not result in a reduction in any benefit for future service, and advance notice of a significant reduction in the rate of future benefit accrual is not required under section 4980F.
[53 FR 26058, July 11, 1988]
Editorial Note:
For Federal Register citations affecting § 1.411(d)-4, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

Title 26 published on 2013-04-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 26.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-10-01; vol. 79 # 190 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    1. 79 FR 59112 - Local Lodging Expenses
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Final regulations.
      Effective Date: These regulations are effective on October 1, 2014. Applicability Dates: For dates of applicability, see §§ 1.162-32(d) and 1.262-1(b)(5).
      26 CFR Part 1

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 26 - INTERNAL REVENUE CODE

§ 1 - Tax imposed

§ 21 - Expenses for household and dependent care services necessary for gainful employment

§ 23 - Adoption expenses

§ 25 - Interest on certain home mortgages

§ 25A - Hope and Lifetime Learning credits

§ 28

§ 30 - Certain plug-in electric vehicles

§ 36B - Refundable credit for coverage under a qualified health plan

§ 38 - General business credit

§ 40 - Alcohol, etc., used as fuel

§ 41 - Credit for increasing research activities

§ 42 - Low-income housing credit

§ 43 - Enhanced oil recovery credit

§ 45D - New markets tax credit

§ 46 - Amount of credit

§ 47 - Rehabilitation credit

§ 52 - Special rules

§ 56 - Adjustments in computing alternative minimum taxable income

§ 58 - Denial of certain losses

§ 61 - Gross income defined

§ 62 - Adjusted gross income defined

§ 66 - Treatment of community income

§ 67 - 2-percent floor on miscellaneous itemized deductions

§ 72 - Annuities; certain proceeds of endowment and life insurance contracts

§ 101 - Certain death benefits

§ 103 - Interest on State and local bonds

§ 103A - Repealed.

§ 108 - Income from discharge of indebtedness

§ 110 - Qualified lessee construction allowances for short-term leases

§ 129 - Dependent care assistance programs

§ 132 - Certain fringe benefits

§ 148 - Arbitrage

§ 149 - Bonds must be registered to be tax exempt; other requirements

§ 150 - Definitions and special rules

§ 152 - Dependent defined

§ 162 - Trade or business expenses

§ 163 - Interest

§ 165 - Losses

§ 166 - Bad debts

§ 168 - Accelerated cost recovery system

§ 170 - Charitable, etc., contributions and gifts

§ 171 - Amortizable bond premium

§ 179 - Election to expense certain depreciable business assets

§ 179A - Deduction for clean-fuel vehicles and certain refueling property

§ 197 - Amortization of goodwill and certain other intangibles

§ 199 - Income attributable to domestic production activities

§ 216 - Deduction of taxes, interest, and business depreciation by cooperative housing corporation tenant-stockholder

§ 221 - Interest on education loans

§ 263A - Capitalization and inclusion in inventory costs of certain expenses

§ 267 - Losses, expenses, and interest with respect to transactions between related taxpayers

§ 274 - Disallowance of certain entertainment, etc., expenses

§ 280C - Certain expenses for which credits are allowable

§ 280F - Limitation on depreciation for luxury automobiles; limitation where certain property used for personal purposes

§ 280G - Golden parachute payments

§ 301 - Distributions of property

§ 304 - Redemption through use of related corporations

§ 305 - Distributions of stock and stock rights

§ 324

§ 336 - Gain or loss recognized on property distributed in complete liquidation

§ 337 - Nonrecognition for property distributed to parent in complete liquidation of subsidiary

§ 338 - Certain stock purchases treated as asset acquisitions

§ 351 - Transfer to corporation controlled by transferor

§ 355 - Distribution of stock and securities of a controlled corporation

§ 357 - Assumption of liability

§ 358 - Basis to distributees

§ 362 - Basis to corporations

§ 367 - Foreign corporations

§ 382 - Limitation on net operating loss carryforwards and certain built-in losses following ownership change

§ 383 - Special limitations on certain excess credits, etc.

§ 401 - Qualified pension, profit-sharing, and stock bonus plans

§ 401 note - Qualified pension, profit-sharing, and stock bonus plans

§ 402A - Optional treatment of elective deferrals as Roth contributions

§ 403 - Taxation of employee annuities

§ 404 - Deduction for contributions of an employer to an employees’ trust or annuity plan and compensation under a deferred-payment plan

§ 408 - Individual retirement accounts

§ 408A - Roth IRAs

§ 409 - Qualifications for tax credit employee stock ownership plans

§ 410 - Minimum participation standards

§ 411 - Minimum vesting standards

§ 414 - Definitions and special rules

§ 417 - Definitions and special rules for purposes of minimum survivor annuity requirements

§ 419A - Qualified asset account; limitation on additions to account

§ 420 - Transfers of excess pension assets to retiree health accounts

§ 441 - Period for computation of taxable income

§ 442 - Change of annual accounting period

§ 444 - Election of taxable year other than required taxable year

§ 446 - General rule for methods of accounting

§ 453 - Installment method

§ 453A - Special rules for nondealers

§ 458 - Magazines, paperbacks, and records returned after the close of the taxable year

§ 460 - Special rules for long-term contracts

§ 461 - General rule for taxable year of deduction

§ 465 - Deductions limited to amount at risk

§ 466 - Repealed.

§ 467 - Certain payments for the use of property or services

§ 468A - Special rules for nuclear decommissioning costs

§ 468B - Special rules for designated settlement funds

§ 469 - Passive activity losses and credits limited

§ 471 - General rule for inventories

§ 472 - Last-in, first-out inventories

§ 475 - Mark to market accounting method for dealers in securities

§ 481 - Adjustments required by changes in method of accounting

§ 482 - Allocation of income and deductions among taxpayers

§ 483 - Interest on certain deferred payments

§ 493

§ 504 - Status after organization ceases to qualify for exemption under

§ 514 - Unrelated debt-financed income

§ 527 - Political organizations

§ 585 - Reserves for losses on loans of banks

§ 597 - Treatment of transactions in which Federal financial assistance provided

§ 642 - Special rules for credits and deductions

§ 643 - Definitions applicable to subparts A, B, C, and D

§ 645 - Certain revocable trusts treated as part of estate

§ 663 - Special rules applicable to

§ 664 - Charitable remainder trusts

§ 672 - Definitions and rules

§ 679 - Foreign trusts having one or more United States beneficiaries

§ 701 - Partners, not partnership, subject to tax

§ 702 - Income and credits of partner

§ 703 - Partnership computations

§ 704 - Partner’s distributive share

§ 705 - Determination of basis of partner’s interest

§ 706 - Taxable years of partner and partnership

§ 707 - Transactions between partner and partnership

§ 708 - Continuation of partnership

§ 709 - Treatment of organization and syndication fees

§ 721 - Nonrecognition of gain or loss on contribution

§ 722 - Basis of contributing partner’s interest

§ 723 - Basis of property contributed to partnership

§ 724 - Character of gain or loss on contributed unrealized receivables, inventory items, and capital loss property

§ 731 - Extent of recognition of gain or loss on distribution

§ 732 - Basis of distributed property other than money

§ 733 - Basis of distributee partner’s interest

§ 734 - Adjustment to basis of undistributed partnership property where

§ 735 - Character of gain or loss on disposition of distributed property

§ 736 - Payments to a retiring partner or a deceased partner’s successor in interest

§ 737 - Recognition of precontribution gain in case of certain distributions to contributing partner

§ 741 - Recognition and character of gain or loss on sale or exchange

§ 742 - Basis of transferee partner’s interest

§ 743 - Special rules where

§ 751 - Unrealized receivables and inventory items

§ 752 - Treatment of certain liabilities

§ 753 - Partner receiving income in respect of decedent

§ 754 - Manner of electing optional adjustment to basis of partnership property

§ 755 - Rules for allocation of basis

§ 761 - Terms defined

§ 809 - Repealed.

§ 817A - Special rules for modified guaranteed contracts

§ 832 - Insurance company taxable income

§ 845 - Certain reinsurance agreements

§ 846 - Discounted unpaid losses defined

§ 848 - Capitalization of certain policy acquisition expenses

§ 852 - Taxation of regulated investment companies and their shareholders

§ 860E - Treatment of income in excess of daily accruals on residual interests

§ 860G - Other definitions and special rules

§ 863 - Special rules for determining source

§ 864 - Definitions and special rules

§ 865 - Source rules for personal property sales

§ 874 - Allowance of deductions and credits

§ 882 - Tax on income of foreign corporations connected with United States business

§ 883 - Exclusions from gross income

§ 884 - Branch profits tax

§ 892 - Income of foreign governments and of international organizations

§ 894 - Income affected by treaty

§ 897 - Disposition of investment in United States real property

§ 901 - Taxes of foreign countries and of possessions of United States

§ 902 - Deemed paid credit where domestic corporation owns 10 percent or more of voting stock of foreign corporation

§ 904 - Limitation on credit

§ 907 - Special rules in case of foreign oil and gas income

§ 911 - Citizens or residents of the United States living abroad

§ 924

§ 925

§ 927 - Repealed.

§ 934 - Limitation on reduction in income tax liability incurred to the Virgin Islands

§ 936 - Puerto Rico and possession tax credit

§ 937 - Residence and source rules involving possessions

§ 954 - Foreign base company income

§ 956 - Investment of earnings in United States property

§ 957 - Controlled foreign corporations; United States persons

§ 960 - Special rules for foreign tax credit

§ 963 - Repealed.

§ 985 - Functional currency

§ 987 - Branch transactions

§ 988 - Treatment of certain foreign currency transactions

§ 989 - Other definitions and special rules

§ 1017 - Discharge of indebtedness

§ 1032 - Exchange of stock for property

§ 1059 - Corporate shareholder’s basis in stock reduced by nontaxed portion of extraordinary dividends

§ 1060 - Special allocation rules for certain asset acquisitions

§ 1092 - Straddles

§ 1202 - Partial exclusion for gain from certain small business stock

§ 1221 - Capital asset defined

§ 1244 - Losses on small business stock

§ 1248 - Gain from certain sales or exchanges of stock in certain foreign corporations

§ 1254 - Gain from disposition of interest in oil, gas, geothermal, or other mineral properties

§ 1275 - Other definitions and special rules

§ 1286 - Tax treatment of stripped bonds

§ 1291 - Interest on tax deferral

§ 1293 - Current taxation of income from qualified electing funds

§ 1294 - Election to extend time for payment of tax on undistributed earnings

§ 1295 - Qualified electing fund

§ 1296 - Election of mark to market for marketable stock

§ 1297 - Passive foreign investment company

§ 1298 - Special rules

§ 1301 - Averaging of farm income

§ 1361 - S corporation defined

§ 1368 - Distributions

§ 1374 - Tax imposed on certain built-in gains

§ 1377 - Definitions and special rule

§ 1378 - Taxable year of S corporation

§ 1397D - Qualified zone property defined

§ 1397E - Credit to holders of qualified zone academy bonds

§ 1402 - Definitions

§ 1441 - Withholding of tax on nonresident aliens

§ 1443 - Foreign tax-exempt organizations

§ 1445 - Withholding of tax on dispositions of United States real property interests

§ 1471 - Withholdable payments to foreign financial institutions

§ 1472 - Withholdable payments to other foreign entities

§ 1473 - Definitions

§ 1474 - Special rules

§ 1502 - Regulations

§ 1503 - Computation and payment of tax

§ 1504 - Definitions

§ 1561 - Limitations on certain multiple tax benefits in the case of certain controlled corporations

§ 3401 - Definitions

§ 5000 - Certain group health plans

§ 5000A - Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage

§ 6001 - Notice or regulations requiring records, statements, and special returns

§ 6011 - General requirement of return, statement, or list

§ 6015 - Relief from joint and several liability on joint return

§ 6033 - Returns by exempt organizations

§ 6035 - Repealed.

§ 6038 - Information reporting with respect to certain foreign corporations and partnerships

§ 6038A - Information with respect to certain foreign-owned corporations

§ 6038B - Notice of certain transfers to foreign persons

§ 6038D - Information with respect to foreign financial assets

§ 6039I - Returns and records with respect to employer-owned life insurance contracts

§ 6041 - Information at source

§ 6043 - Liquidating, etc., transactions

§ 6045 - Returns of brokers

§ 6046A - Returns as to interests in foreign partnerships

§ 6049 - Returns regarding payments of interest

§ 6050E - State and local income tax refunds

§ 6050H - Returns relating to mortgage interest received in trade or business from individuals

26 U.S. Code § 5521 to 5523 - Repealed.

§ 6050K - Returns relating to exchanges of certain partnership interests

§ 6050M - Returns relating to persons receiving contracts from Federal executive agencies

§ 6050P - Returns relating to the cancellation of indebtedness by certain entities

§ 6050S - Returns relating to higher education tuition and related expenses

§ 6060 - Information returns of tax return preparers

§ 6061 - Signing of returns and other documents

§ 6065 - Verification of returns

§ 6081 - Extension of time for filing returns

§ 6103 - Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information

§ 6109 - Identifying numbers

§ 6302 - Mode or time of collection

§ 6402 - Authority to make credits or refunds

§ 6411 - Tentative carryback and refund adjustments

§ 6655 - Failure by corporation to pay estimated income tax

§ 6662 - Imposition of accuracy-related penalty on underpayments

§ 6695 - Other assessable penalties with respect to the preparation of tax returns for other persons

§ 6851 - Termination assessments of income tax

§ 7520 - Valuation tables

§ 7654 - Coordination of United States and certain possession individual income taxes

§ 7701 - Definitions

§ 7702 - Life insurance contract defined

§ 7805 - Rules and regulations

§ 7872 - Treatment of loans with below-market interest rates

§ 7874 - Rules relating to expatriated entities and their foreign parents

U.S. Code: Title 29 - LABOR
Statutes at Large
Public Laws
Presidential Documents

Reorganization ... 1978 Plan No. 4

Title 26 published on 2013-04-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 26 CFR 1 after this date.

  • 2014-10-15; vol. 79 # 199 - Wednesday, October 15, 2014
    1. 79 FR 61791 - Removal of the 36-Month Non-Payment Testing Period Rule
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Notice of proposed rulemaking.
      Comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by January 13, 2015.
      26 CFR Part 1