The IRS Issues Proposed Regulations Clarifying Minimum Present Value
Section 417 (e) of the Internal Revenue Service Code outlines the rules for when a defined benefit plan may distribute the present value of a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity (QJSA) or Qualified Preretirement Survivor Annuity (QPSA). The present value distribution cannot be less than the present value calculated by using the applicable mortality table and applicable interest rate. This calculation results in the minimum present value. In September 2016, the IRS published proposed regulations providing additional guidance on the minimum present value calculation. The proposed regulations are primarily intended to simplify optional forms of benefits that are paid to a participant partly in annuity and partly in lump sum. Plan sponsors of Defined Benefit plans need to review the proposed regulations and their plan documents to determine if changes need to be made. The proposed regulations, if approved, would apply to annuity starting dates in plan years that begin on or after the date that the final regulations are published.