NU Online News Service, Aug. 8, 2003, 5:58 p.m. EDT – The American Society of Pension Actuaries, Washington, has asked the Internal Revenue Service to discuss the effects of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 on contributions to 401(k) plans, 457 plans and other retirement savings plans.

USERRA requires employers to protect the jobs of employees who take leaves to serve in the military.

USERRA also requires employers to give employees on military leave a chance to continue their health benefits, and it gives the employees a chance to catch up on retirement plan contributions once they return to their civilian jobs.

Brian Graff, ASPA’s executive director, and four ASPA committee and subcommittee chairmen sent a letter to Carol Gold, an IRS employee plans director, asking whether employees who are away for more than one plan year can apply catch-up contributions to the plan year of their choice.

Giving returning employees a choice could be especially helpful to the employees when employers change their matching formulas while the employees are away, the ASPA officials write in the letter.

The ASPA officials also ask about when employers must make their catch-up matching contributions and how actuaries should treat catch-up contributions when testing plans for signs of discrimination.

ASPA has posted a copy of the letter at http://www.aspa.org/archivepages/gac/2003/080603-userra.htm