On December 21, 2011, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2012-6, which provides welcome relief for U.S. employers with qualified employee retirement plans that cover Puerto Rico employees. Notice 2012-6 provides that the IRS will extend the deadline for employers sponsoring plans that are tax-qualified only in Puerto Rico (ERISA Section 1022(i)(1) Plans) to continue to pool assets with U.S.-qualified plans in group and master trusts described in Revenue Ruling 81-100 (81-100 group trusts) until further notice, provided the plan was participating in the trust as of January 10, 2011, or holds assets that had been held by a qualified plan immediately prior to the transfer of those assets to an ERISA Section 1022(i)(1) Plan pursuant to a spin-off from a U.S.-qualified plan under Revenue Ruling 2008-40.
Notice 2012-6 also extends the deadline for sponsors of retirement plans qualified in both the United States and Puerto Rico (dual-qualified plans) to spin off and transfer assets attributable to Puerto Rico employees to ERISA Section 1022(i)(1) Plans, with the resulting plan assets considered Puerto Rico-source income and not subject to U.S. tax.
There are now two separate deadlines:
- First, in recognition of the fact that Puerto Rico adopted a new tax code in 2011 with significant changes to the requirements for qualified retirement plans, the IRS has extended the general deadline to December 31, 2012, for dual-qualified plans to make transfers to Puerto Rico-only plans, in order to give plan sponsors time to consider the effect of the changes made by the new tax code.
- Second, in recognition of the fact that the IRS has not yet issued definitive guidance on the ability of an ERISA Section 1022(i)(1) Plan to participate in 81-100 group trusts, the IRS has extended the deadline for dual-qualified plans that participate in an 81-100 group trust to some future deadline, presumably after the IRS reaches a conclusion on the ability of a dual-qualified plan to participate in an 81-100 group trust, as described in Revenue Ruling 2011-1.