26 CFR § 1.403(b)-3 - Exclusion for contributions to purchase section 403(b) contracts.

§ 1.403(b)-3 Exclusion for contributions to purchase section 403(b) contracts.

(a) Exclusion for section 403(b) contracts. Amounts contributed by an eligible employer for the purchase of an annuity contract for an employee are excluded from the gross income of the employee under section 403(b) only if each of the requirements in paragraphs (a)(1) through (9) of this section is satisfied. In addition, amounts contributed by an eligible employer for the purchase of an annuity contract for an employee pursuant to a cash or deferred election (as defined at § 1.401(k)-1(a)(3)) are not includible in an employee's gross income at the time the cash would have been includible in the employee's gross income (but for the cash or deferred election) if each of the requirements in paragraphs (a)(1) through (9) of this section is satisfied. However, the preceding two sentences generally do not apply to designated Roth contributions; see paragraph (c) of this section and § 1.403(b)-7(e) for special taxation rules that apply with respect to designated Roth contributions under a section 403(b) plan.

(1) Not a contract issued under qualified plan or eligible governmental plan. The annuity contract is not purchased under a qualified plan (under section 401(a) or 403(a)) or an eligible governmental plan under section 457(b).

(2) Nonforfeitability. The rights of the employee under the annuity contract (disregarding rights to future premiums) are nonforfeitable. An employee's rights under a contract fail to be nonforfeitable unless the employee for whom the contract is purchased has at all times a fully vested and nonforfeitable right (as defined in regulations under section 411) to all benefits provided under the contract. See paragraph (d)(2) of this section for additional rules regarding the nonforfeitability requirement of this paragraph (a)(2).

(3) Nondiscrimination. In the case of an annuity contract purchased by an eligible employer other than a church, the contract is purchased under a plan that satisfies section 403(b)(12) (relating to nondiscrimination requirements, including universal availability). See § 1.403(b)-5.

(4) Limitations on elective deferrals. In the case of an elective deferral, the contract satisfies section 401(a)(30) (relating to limitations on elective deferrals). A contract does not satisfy section 401(a)(30) as required under this paragraph (a)(4) unless the contract requires that all elective deferrals for an employee not exceed the limits of section 402(g)(1), including elective deferrals for the employee under the contract and any other elective deferrals under the plan under which the contract is purchased and under all other plans, contracts, or arrangements of the employer. See § 1.401(a)-30.

(5) Nontransferability. The contract is not transferable. This paragraph (a)(5) does not apply to a contract issued before January 1, 1963. See section 401(g).

(6) Minimum required distributions. The contract satisfies the requirements of section 401(a)(9) (relating to minimum required distributions). See § 1.403(b)-6(e).

(7) Rollover distributions. The contract provides that, if the distributee of an eligible rollover distribution elects to have the distribution paid directly to an eligible retirement plan, as defined in section 402(c)(8)(B), and specifies the eligible retirement plan to which the distribution is to be paid, then the distribution will be paid to that eligible retirement plan in a direct rollover. See § 1.403(b)-7(b)(2).

(8) Limitation on incidental benefits. The contract satisfies the incidental benefit requirements of section 401(a). See § 1.403(b)-6(g).

(9) Maximum annual additions. The annual additions to the contract do not exceed the applicable limitations of section 415(c) (treating contributions and other additions as annual additions). See paragraph (b) of this section and § 1.403(b)-4(b) and (f).

(b) Application of requirements - (1) Aggregation of contracts. In accordance with section 403(b)(5), for purposes of determining whether this section is satisfied, all section 403(b) contracts purchased for an individual by an employer are treated as purchased under a single contract. Additional aggregation rules apply under section 402(g) for purposes of satisfying paragraph (a)(4) of this section and under section 415 for purposes of satisfying paragraph (a)(9) of this section.

(2) Disaggregation for excess annual additions. In accordance with the last sentence of section 415(a)(2), if an excess annual addition is made to a contract that otherwise satisfies the requirements of this section, then the portion of the contract that includes such excess annual addition fails to be a section 403(b) contract (as further described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section) and the remaining portion of the contract is a section 403(b) contract. This paragraph (b)(2) is not satisfied unless, for the year of the excess and each year thereafter, the issuer of the contract maintains separate accounts for each such portion. Thus, the entire contract fails to be a section 403(b) contract if an excess annual addition is made and a separate account is not maintained with respect to the excess.

(3) Plan in form and operation.

(i) A contract does not satisfy paragraph (a) of this section unless it is maintained pursuant to a plan. For this purpose, a plan is a written defined contribution plan, which, in both form and operation, satisfies the requirements of § 1.403(b)-1, § 1.403(b)-2, this section, and §§ 1.403(b)-4 through 1.403(b)-11. For purposes of § 1.403(b)-1, § 1.403(b)-2, this section, and §§ 1.403(b)-4 through 1.403(b)-11, the plan must contain all the material terms and conditions for eligibility, benefits, applicable limitations, the contracts available under the plan, and the time and form under which benefit distributions would be made. For purposes of § 1.403(b)-1, § 1.403(b)-2, this section, and §§ 1.403(b)-4 through 1.403(b)-11, a plan may contain certain optional features that are consistent with but not required under section 403(b), such as hardship withdrawal distributions, loans, plan-to-plan or annuity contract-to-annuity contract transfers, and acceptance of rollovers to the plan. However, if a plan contains any optional provisions, the optional provisions must meet, in both form and operation, the relevant requirements under section 403(b), this section, and §§ 1.403(b)-4 through 1.403(b)-11.

(ii) The plan may allocate responsibility for performing administrative functions, including functions to comply with the requirements of section 403(b) and other tax requirements. Any such allocation must identify responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code that apply on the basis of the aggregated contracts issued to a participant under a plan, including loans under section 72(p) and the conditions for obtaining a hardship withdrawal under § 1.403(b)-6. A plan is permitted to assign such responsibilities to parties other than the eligible employer, but not to participants (other than employees of the employer a substantial portion of whose duties are administration of the plan), and may incorporate by reference other documents, including the insurance policy or custodial account, which thereupon become part of the plan.

(iii) This paragraph (b)(3) applies to contributions to an annuity contract by a church only if the annuity is part of a retirement income account, as defined in § 1.403(b)-9.

(4) Exclusion limited for former employees -

(i) General rule. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section and in § 1.403(b)-4(d), the exclusion from gross income provided by section 403(b) does not apply to contributions made for former employees. For this purpose, a contribution is not made for a former employee if the contribution is with respect to compensation that would otherwise be paid for a payroll period that begins before severance from employment.

(ii) Exceptions. The exclusion from gross income provided by section 403(b) applies to contributions made for former employees with respect to compensation described in § 1.415(c)-2(e)(3)(i) (relating to certain compensation paid by the later of 2 1/2 months after severance from employment or the end of the limitation year that includes the date of severance from employment), and compensation described in § 1.415(c)-2(e)(4), § 1.415(c)-2(g)(4), or § 1.415(c)-2(g)(7) (relating to compensation paid to participants who are permanently and totally disabled or relating to qualified military service under section 414(u)).

(c) Special rules for designated Roth section 403(b) contributions.

(1) The rules of § 1.401(k)-1(f)(1) and (2) for designated Roth contributions under a qualified cash or deferred arrangement apply to designated Roth contributions under a section 403(b) plan. Thus, a designated Roth contribution under a section 403(b) plan is a section 403(b) elective deferral that is designated irrevocably by the employee at the time of the cash or deferred election as a designated Roth contribution that is being made in lieu of all or a portion of the section 403(b) elective deferrals the employee is otherwise eligible to make under the plan; that is treated by the employer as includible in the employee's gross income at the time the employee would have received the amount in cash if the employee had not made the cash or deferred election (such as by treating the contributions as wages subject to applicable withholding requirements); and that is maintained in a separate account (within the meaning of § 1.401(k)-1(f)(2)).

(2) A designated Roth contribution under a section 403(b) plan must satisfy the requirements applicable to section 403(b) elective deferrals. Thus, for example, designated Roth contributions under a section 403(b) plan must satisfy the requirements of § 1.403(b)-6(d). Similarly, a designated Roth account under a section 403(b) plan is subject to the rules of sections 401(a)(9)(A) and (B) and § 1.403(b)-6(e).

(d) Effect of failure -

(1) General rules.

(i) If a contract includes any amount that fails to satisfy the requirements of section 403(b), § 1.403(b)-1, § 1.403(b)-2, this section, or §§ 1.403(b)-4 through 1.403(b)-11, then, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section (relating to failure to satisfy nonforfeitability requirements) or § 1.403(b)-4(f) (relating to excess contributions under section 415 and excess deferrals under section 402(g)), the contract is not a section 403(b) contract. In addition, section 403(b)(5) and paragraph (b)(1) of this section provide that, for purposes of determining whether a contract satisfies section 403(b), all section 403(b) contracts purchased for an individual by an employer are treated as purchased under a single contract. Thus, except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section or as otherwise provided in this paragraph (d), a failure to satisfy section 403(b) with respect to any contract issued to an individual by an employer adversely affects all contracts issued to that individual by that employer.

(ii) In accordance with paragraph (b)(3) of this section, a failure to operate in accordance with the terms of a plan adversely affects all of the contracts issued by the employer to the employee or employees with respect to whom the operational failure occurred. Such a failure does not adversely affect any other contract if the failure is neither a failure to satisfy the nondiscrimination requirements of § 1.403(b)-5 (a nondiscrimination failure) nor a failure of the employer to be an eligible employer as defined in § 1.403(b)-2 (an employer eligibility failure). However, any failure that is not an operational failure adversely affects all contracts issued under the plan, including: a failure to have contracts issued pursuant to a written defined contribution plan which, in form, satisfies the requirements of § 1.403(b)-1, § 1.403(b)-2, this section, and §§ 1.403(b)-4 through 1.403(b)-11 (a written plan failure); a nondiscrimination failure; or an employer eligibility failure.

(iii) See other applicable Internal Revenue Code provisions for the treatment of a contract that is not a section 403(b) contract, such as sections 61, 83, 402(b), and 403(c). Thus, for example, section 403(c) (relating to nonqualified annuities) applies if any annuity contract issued by an insurance company fails to satisfy section 403(b), based on the value of the contract at the time of the failure. However, see paragraph (d)(2) of this section for special rules with respect to the nonforfeitability requirement of paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(2) Failure to satisfy nonforfeitability requirement -

(i) Treatment before contract becomes nonforfeitable. If an annuity contract issued by an insurance company would qualify as a section 403(b) contract but for the failure to satisfy the nonforfeitability requirement of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, then the contract is treated as a contract to which section 403(c) applies. See § 1.403(b)-8(d)(4) for a rule under which a custodial account that fails to satisfy the nonforfeitability requirement of paragraph (a)(2) of this section is treated as a section 401(a) qualified plan for certain purposes.

(ii) Treatment when contract becomes nonforfeitable -

(A) In general. Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, on or after the date on which the participant's interest in a contract described in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section becomes nonforfeitable, the contract may be treated as a section 403(b) contract if no election has been made under section 83(b) with respect to the contract, the participant's interest in the contract has been subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture (as defined in section 83) before becoming nonforfeitable, each contribution under the contract that is subject to a different vesting schedule is maintained in a separate account, and the contract has at all times satisfied the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section other than the nonforfeitability requirement of paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Thus, for example, for the current year and each prior year, no contribution can have been made to the contract that would cause the contract to fail to be a section 403(b) contract as a result of contributions exceeding the limitations of section 415 (except to the extent permitted under paragraph (b)(2) of this section) or to fail to satisfy the nondiscrimination rules described in § 1.403(b)-5. See also § 1.403(b)-10(a)(1) for a special rule in connection with termination of a section 403(b) plan.

(B) Partial vesting. For purposes of applying this paragraph (d), if only a portion of a participant's interest in a contract becomes nonforfeitable in a year, then the portion that is nonforfeitable and the portion that fails to be nonforfeitable are each treated as separate contracts. In addition, for purposes of applying this paragraph (d), if a contribution is made to an annuity contract in excess of the limitations of section 415(c) and the excess is maintained in a separate account, then the portion of the contract that includes the excess contributions account and the remainder are each treated as separate contracts. Thus, if an annuity contract that includes an excess contributions account changes from forfeitable to nonforfeitable during a year, then the portion that is not attributable to the excess contributions account constitutes a section 403(b) contract (assuming it otherwise satisfies the requirements to be a section 403(b) contract) and is not included in gross income, and the portion that is attributable to the excess contributions account is included in gross income in accordance with section 403(c). See § 1.403(b)-4(f) for additional rules.

[T.D. 9340, 72 FR 41141, July 26, 2007; 72 FR 54352, Sept. 25, 2007]

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