Understanding the 403(b) pre-approved Plan Document Program
In 2015, for the first time ever, the IRS opened the 403(b) Pre-approved Plan Document Program. This program allowed plan providers, like Envoy Financial, to submit their prototype or volume submitter 403(b) Plan Documents for approval. This was an expense-based service provided by the IRS.
Under the 403(b) Pre-approved Plan Document Program:
• 403(b) Prototype Plans may apply for a Favorable Opinion Letter, and
• 403(b) Volume Submitter Plans may apply for a Favorable Advisory Letter.
The Favorable Opinion Letter and/or Favorable Advisory Letter assures that the Plan Document, in form, satisfies the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) and (if applicable) the Department of Labor ERISA Regulations (subject to certain restrictions).
In 2015, at the first available entry date, Envoy Financial submitted their Prototype 403(b)(7) and 403(b)(9) Plan Documents to the IRS for their review. In March of 2017, Envoy Financial received a Favorable Opinion Letter on both its Prototype 403(b)(7) Non-Church Plan Document and its Prototype 403(b)(9) Church Plan Document.