The IRS and Department of Labor recently announced additional relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Loans and Hardship Distributions from Defined Contribution Plans

In Announcement 2012-44, the IRS relaxed the rules governing loans and hardship distributions from 401(k), 403(b) and state and local government 457(b) defined contribution plans.  There are several components to the relief:

  • Grounds for hardship distribution:  The IRS has stated that a plan will not fail to comply with the rules governing hardship distributions if it makes a distribution on account of a need arising from Hurricane Sandy.
  • No limit on future contributions:  The guidance also relaxes restrictions that would typically be placed on the participant’s ability to make contributions to the plan for a six-month period following a hardship distribution.
  • Relaxed procedural requirements:  Under the IRS guidance, the plan administrator will not be treated as failing to comply with the plan’s procedural requirements for approval of hardship distributions or loans, provided that it makes a good-faith diligent effort under the circumstances to comply and makes a reasonable effort to assemble any forgone documentation as soon as practicable.
  • Plan document relief:  To the extent that the plan must be amended to permit the loans or distributions pursuant to the Hurricane Sandy relief guidance, the deadline for adopting the amendment is the end of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2013.


Continue Reading Additional Relief for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

The IRS recently announced tax relief designed to encourage Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.  The tax relief programs that have been announced are similar to programs offered in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, including non-taxable employee leave donations and tax-free relief payments to employees. 
Continue Reading IRS Announces Hurricane Sandy Relief for Employers and Employees