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Announcement of IRS Approved Code Section 403(b) Volume Submitter Plan

In response to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on-going directive to facilitate ease in sponsorship of retirement plans as well as bolster compliance, Document Agility through its partnership with Plan Document Systems™ (PDS) has developed and received approval for its Premier™ Volume Submitter 403(b) Plan.

What This Means to You

A pre-approved plan will broaden your market range and create new growth. The document features the basics for a non-ERISA, church or governmental plan, as well as the flexibility needed to establish a comprehensive 403(b) plan subject to ERISA. Features include:

  • pre-tax and post-tax deferrals including automatic enrollment,

  • flexibility in defining compensation and eligibility,

  • multiple investment arrangements,

  • employer matching and non-elective contribution formulas ranging from pro-rata discretionary to employee group designs,

  • safe harbor provisions,

  • hardships, in-service withdrawals, and loans,

  • a variety of vesting options, and

  • the ability to memorialize grandfathered provisions such as annuities, withdrawals and vesting.

Benefits of a 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan

Gone is the inconvenience of maintaining individually designed plans. The advisory letter issued on behalf of the Premier™ Volume Submitter 403(b) Plan means the IRS has determined that it satisfies the requirements of Code Section 403(b) and its corresponding regulations. An eligible employer who adopts this plan may rely on the advisory letter (with some exceptions) and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Advisory Letter Reliance: As you know, the IRS will not issue determination letters to individually designed 403(b) plans. By adopting our Premier™ Volume Submitter 403(b) Plan before the March 31, 2020 deadline, an eligible employer will not only obtain reliance for its plan, but may also retroactively correct defects in its written document back to the first day of the plan’s remedial period (the later of January 1, 2010 or the plan’s effective date, except for any documents incorporated by reference in the prior plan). Employers who did not adopt a written 403(b) plan prior to December 31, 2009 may also resolve this error by adopting a pre-approved plan and filing it with the 403(b) Voluntary Correction Program under Revenue Procedure 2016-51 (the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System or EPCRS).

  • Flexibility: The Premier™ Volume Submitter 403(b) Plan offers employers numerous design options with respect to matching and non-elective contributions that require testing under Code Sections 401(a)(4) and 410(b). It is also considered a single plan regardless of whether there are multiple investment arrangements or multiple vendors (insurance companies or regulated investment company custodians) and while different investment arrangements may have different features or prevent the inclusion of additional provisions in the terms of the investment arrangements under the plan or other documents incorporated by reference, the plan will provide, to the extent permitted, that loans, hardships or annuities are available. By default, any conflict between the terms of the plan and an investment arrangement will be governed by the terms of the pre-approved plan.

  • Sponsorship: Employers eligible to sponsor a volume submitter 403(b) plan include tax-exempt, government (including grandfathered Indian Tribal governments), educational, church, and church-related organizations. PDS, as sponsor of the Premier™ Volume Submitter 403(b) Plan, will maintain the qualified status of the plan and keep you informed of any amendments required or recommended by IRS as well as provide you with instructions and deadlines, as applicable, to communicate with your adopting employers.

If you are interested in expanding your market reach and retirement services by offering an IRS-approved 403(b) Volume Submitter Plan, please contact Dan Sheehan at or Nadine Dandorf at

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