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Recognition of Prior Nongovernmental Service


Guest ERISAQUEEN
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Guest ERISAQUEEN

May a municipality recognize prior "nongovernmental" service for its current employees with respect to their past years of service with a private fire protection organization. I understand that 415(n) permits the employees to purchase "permissive service credits" for nonqualified service, subject to certain restrictions. However, it is not clear to me whether the IRC prohibits or limits the ability for a municipality to amend its plan to recognize prior service with the private organization.

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I'll take a shot at this. I assume the plan is a defined benefit plan. My understanding is that a plan can credit service for a prior employer. Considerations include:

1. The plan might be subject to the vesting discrimination rules under pre-ERISA 401(a)(4). See 411(e)(2).

2. I believe that service for a prior employer cannot be credited for purposes of 415(b)(5)(A), but I've not researched this.

Perhaps someone who has thought this through will post a reply.

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