The Internal Revenue Service is advising the nonprofit employers that have to comply with new written-plan requirements not worry about the current lack of formal compliance guidelines.
Schools and other plan sponsors that do their best to comply with the requirements will have time to make changes once the final rules come out, IRS officials say in Announcement 2009-89.
The IRS is in the process of implementing laws that require 403(b) plan sponsors to adopt formal plan documents by the end of 2009. The IRS has published a model showing generally what the written documents should look like, in Revenue Procedure 2007-71.
But the IRS has not yet explained how the financial services companies that develop preapproved prototype plans can get IRS opinion letters stating that the 403(b) prototype plans meet IRS requirements, or how employers can get determination letters stating that individual 403(b) plans conform.
The IRS hopes to publish revenue procedures explaining the 403(b) opinion letter and determination letter processes soon.