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Terminated Plan Assets Roll into New Plan Under Same Control Group - Unrelated or Related?


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Two employers (A and B) under same control group each have separate plans (Plan A and Plan B).  Plan A terminates because employer A shuts down and many participants start working for employer B.  Most participants rolls assets from terminated Plan A into Plan B.  Plan B has predecessor language for eligibility and vesting for participants from Plan A.  They were given opportunity to take their balance or rollover to IRA or another qualified plan.  Question:  Are the rollovers from Plan A into Plan B considered "related" rollovers for top-heavy testing?

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Related. From the top-heavy regs:

T-32 Q. How are rollovers and plan-to-plan transfers treated in testing whether a plan is top-heavy?

A. The rules for handling rollovers and transfers depend upon whether they are unrelated (both initiated by the employee and made from a plan maintained by one employer to a plan maintained by another employer) or related (a rollover or transfer either not initiated by the employee or made to a plan maintained by the same employer). Generally, a rollover or transfer made incident to a merger or consolidation of two or more plans or the division of a single plan into two or more plans will not be treated as being initiated by the employee. The fact that the employer initiated the distribution does not mean that the rollover was not initiated by the employee. For purposes of determining whether two employers are to be treated as the same employer, all employers aggregated under section 414(b), (c) or (m) are treated as the same employer. In the case of unrelated rollovers and transfers, (1) the plan making the distribution or transfer is to count the distribution as a distribution under section 416(g)(3), and (2) the plan accepting the rollover or transfer is not to consider the rollover or transfer as part of the accrued benefit if such rollover or transfer was accepted after December 31, 1983, but is to consider it as part of the accrued benefit if such rollover or transfer was accepted prior to January 1, 1984. In the case of related rollovers and transfers, the plan making the distribution or transfer is not to count the distribution or transfer under section 416(g)(3) and the plan accepting the rollover or transfer counts the rollover or transfer in the present value of the accrued benefits. Rules for related rollovers and transfers do not depend on whether the rollover or transfer was accepted prior to January 1, 1984.

 

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