IRS issues guidance for multiemployer plans to apply for benefit suspension approval

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

On Wednesday, the IRS issued temporary and proposed regulations that provide guidance for multiemployer pension plans that are in critical and declining status and therefore may be permitted to suspend benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014, P.L. 113-235 (T.D. 9723; REG-102648-15).

The IRS also issued Rev. Proc. 2015-34, which provides the rules for plans to submit applications to be permitted to suspend benefits. Although the IRS will begin accepting these applications on or after June 19, 2015, it said that it did not expect to approve any applications until the regulations are finalized.

The temporary regulations, which are effective June 19, the date they will be published in the Federal Register, provide sufficient guidance to enable a plan sponsor that wishes to apply for approval of a suspension of benefits to prepare and submit such an application, and to enable the Department of the Treasury to begin the processing of such an application. The temporary rules provide general guidance, including the meaning of the term “suspension of benefits,” the general conditions for a suspension of benefits, and the implementation of a suspension after a participant vote.

The proposed regulations, which also ask for comments on the temporary regulations, provide additional guidance on the standards that will be applied in reviewing an application for suspension of benefits and any statutory limitations on a suspension of benefits. 

Sally P. Schreiber ( sschreiber@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

SPONSORED REPORT

Revenue recognition: A complex effort

Implementing the new standard requires careful judgment. Learn how to make significant accounting judgments and document them and collaborate with peers for consistent application.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

News quiz: Taking an economic snapshot and looking to the future

Recent news included IRS actions that affect individuals and partnerships and a possibly influential move by a Big Four accounting firm.Take this short quiz to see how much you know about the news.