IRS SECURE 2.0 “Grab Bag” Guidance – Roth Employer Contributions
On December 20, 2023, the IRS released Notice 2024-02, “Grab Bag” guidance on certain provisions of SECURE 2.0 in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Let’s begin with the guidance released around employer Roth contributions.
Optional treatment of employer contributions or nonelective contributions as Roth contributions
SECURE 2.0 allows defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors to provide participants the option to take matching or nonelective employer contributions on a Roth basis, effective as of December 29, 2022. With respect to this new provision, the Grab Bag notice provides the following guidance:
- Sponsors may but are not required to include in their plan any type of Roth contribution – employee elective, employer matching, or employer nonelective.
- The rules currently (pre-SECURE 2.0) applicable to employee elective Roth contributions also generally apply to the new Roth employer contributions. Thus, designation of an employer contribution as a Roth contribution “must be made by the employee no later than the time that the contribution is allocated to the employee’s account and must be irrevocable,” Roth employer contributions “are subject to inclusion treatment and separate accounting rules,” and the employee must be able to make or change the designation at least once each plan year.
- The employer Roth contribution is included in gross income in the year it is allocated to the participant’s account (even, e.g., where the contribution is “deemed to have been made” for the prior year).
- Only fully vested contributions may be designated as Roth contributions.
- Employer Roth contributions are not subject to federal income tax withholding under IRC section 3402 and are not considered wages under IRC section 3121(a), for purposes of FICA, or IRC section 3306(b), for purposes of FUTA.
- Employer Roth contributions “must be reported using Form 1099-R for the year in which the contributions are allocated to the individual’s account. The total amount of designated Roth matching contributions and designated Roth nonelective contributions that are allocated in that year should be reported in boxes 1 and 2a of Form 1099-R, and code ‘G’ is used in box 7.”
- Employer Roth contributions are not included in the IRC section 415 safe harbor definition of compensation.
This is intended to be a brief overview of just one of the topics covered in IRS Notice 2024-02. We will review the guidance published around some of the other key provisions of SECURE 2.0 in future blogs (e.g., Cash Balance Plans).
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Reprinted with permission of O3 Plan Advisory Services.