IRS Provides Yearlong Extension to Relief from Physical Presence Requirement

Last week, the IRS extended through June 30, 2022, its temporary relief from the physical presence requirement for spousal consents required to be witnessed by notary public or plan representative. The IRS will also be taking comments from stakeholders through Sept. 30 to determine whether to propose permanent relief through the regulatory process.

The extended temporary relief allows such consents to be conducted remotely rather than in person if certain conditions are satisfied. In addition to the public health benefits and adherence to COVID-19 protocols that an in-person requirement may be unable to satisfy, the relief continues to allow retirement plan participants to access their benefits in a more secure and convenient setting than that provided by physical witnessing.

The American Bankers Association and other financial and retirement trades previously issued a letter to the IRS requesting permanent relief from the physical presence requirement. ABA is continuing to work to make the relief permanent.