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May a 403(b) employer add provisions beyond the IRS-preapproved document?

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For a § 401(a) plan stated using IRS-preapproved documents, a user’s reliance on the IRS’s letter is not lost merely because the user changed or added some “administrative” provisions the Revenue Procedure sets up some limited tolerance for.

For a § 403(b) plan, the 2013 Revenue Procedure omits a similar tolerance.

Is that correct? Is that still current?

Is it so that a user must do no change beyond what the adoption-agreement form allows?

Peter Gulia PC

Fiduciary Guidance Counsel

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



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After years of reading your excellent commentary, I am glad that I have something to offer in return:

See paragraph (7) of Section 9.03 of Rev Proc 2021-37.  Amendments that will not cause an Adopting Employer to lose reliance on an Opinion Letter include "(7) amendments to the administrative provisions in the plan (such as provisions relating to investments, plan claims procedures, or the Adopting Employer's contact information), provided the amended provisions are not in conflict with any other provisions of the plan... and do not cause the plan to fail to satisfy the § 403(b) Requirements ..."

Hope this is helpful!

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