Human Resources

Updated IRS Correction Principles and Changes to VCP Outlined in EPCRS Revenue Procedure 2021-30

Hey Compliance Warriors!


Revenue Procedure 2021-30, issued today, adds two new benefit overpayment correction methods that encourage employers to avoid seeking recoupment of benefit overpayments made to participants and beneficiaries, either by not requiring correction if the plan satisfies a specified funding level, or by limiting the amount to be recouped under certain circumstances.


In addition, the revenue procedure eliminates the VCP anonymous submission procedure and adds an anonymous, no-fee, VCP pre-submission conference procedure.


The revenue procedure also expands correction by plan amendment under SCP, extends the end of the SCP correction period for significant failures by one year, and extends the sunset of the safe harbor correction method for certain missed elective deferrals by three years.


The IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) permits any plan sponsor of a retirement plan (including SEP and SIMPLE IRA plans) to correct plan failures. EPCRS offers three correction programs:

Self-Correction Program (SCP) – Correct certain plan failures without contacting the IRS or paying a user fee
Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) – Correct failures not eligible for SCP and to get the approval of the IRS that the failures were properly corrected
Audit CAP – Resolve failures discovered during an IRS audit that can’t be corrected using SCP


The IRS made significant changes and revisions to EPCRS in Revenue Procedure 2021-30 (PDF) that may be beneficial to plan sponsors, participants, and the retirement plan community.


Overpayments correction options: Expanded correction principles to allow plan sponsors to fix operational failures when plan participants or beneficiaries receive payments from defined benefit plans that exceed what is permitted by the terms of the plan, effective July 16, 2021. The new principles reduce the need to seek repayment from participants or beneficiaries who received overpayments, and in some cases, do not require the plan sponsor to reimburse the plan for overpayments to participants.


Expansion of Self Correction for Significant Operational Failures: Extends the correction period of significant operational failures from two to three years, effective July 16, 2021.


Expansion of Self Correction for Retroactive Plan Amendments: Makes it easier to use retroactive plan amendments to correct operational failures by removing the requirement that all participants in the plan benefit by the retroactive amendment, effective July 16, 2021.


Anonymous VCP submissions: Effective January 1, 2022, Rev. Proc. 2021-30 eliminates anonymous submissions under VCP.


Anonymous Pre-Submission Conferences: Effective January 1, 2022, the IRS will permit plan sponsors or their representatives to make an anonymous written request for a pre-submission conference to discuss a potential VCP submission at no cost to the plan sponsor. Following the pre-submission conference, if the plan sponsor submits a VCP request, it can no longer be anonymous.


Extension of Automatic Enrollment Failures: Extends the sunset of the safe harbor correction method to correct missed elective deferrals for eligible employees subject to an automatic contribution feature in Section 401(k) or 403(b) plans.


Increased Threshold for De Minimis Correction Amounts: Increase from $100 to $250 the threshold for certain de minimis amounts for which a Plan Sponsor is not required to implement correction.


Be Audit-Secure!


Lisa Smith, SPHR, SHRM – SCP

Certified EEO Investigator (EEOC)

Lead Support and Content Chief – HelpDeskforHR.com

“You cannot be audit-proof, but you can Be Audit-Secure.”

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