Roll-forward Rules for Past 457(f) Plan Balances
aka "Rolling Risks of Forfeiture"
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Proposed regulations issued in 2016 permit tax exempt organizations to impose "rolling risks of forfeiture" on income deferred pursuant to Code section 457(f); provided the following conditions are met:
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Proposed Treas. Regulations: Italics within the following text highlight direct quotations from the regulations proposed on 2016.07.11, with bullet points being added below merely for ease of reference.
From the Preamble:
Proposed Treas. Reg. 1.457-12:
(2) Addition or extension of risk of forfeiture—(i) General rule. The initial addition or extension of any risk of forfeiture after a legally binding right to compensation arises, including the application of a risk of forfeiture to a plan providing for deferrals of current compensation (an additional or extended risk of forfeiture), will be disregarded unless the plan meets the requirements of paragraphs (e)(2)(ii) through (v) of this section.
(ii) Benefit must be materially greater. A deferred amount will not be subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture for purposes of section 457 and this section after the date on which an employee could have received the amount, unless the present value of the amount made subject to the additional or extended substantial risk of forfeiture (disregarding the risk of forfeiture in determining the present value of the amount) is materially greater than the present value of the amount the employee otherwise would have received absent the initial or extended risk of forfeiture. For purposes of this paragraph (e)(2)(ii), present value is determined in accordance with the rules described in paragraph (c) of this section as of the applicable date for the amount the employee otherwise would have received absent the initial or extended risk of forfeiture. In addition, an amount is materially greater for purposes of this paragraph (e)(2)(ii) only if the present value of the amount subject to the additional or extended substantial risk of forfeiture is more than 125 percent of the present value of the amount that the employee would have received absent the additional or extended risk of forfeiture. For this purpose, compensation that the participant would receive for continuing to perform services, regardless of whether the deferred amount is subjected to an additional or extended substantial risk of forfeiture, is not taken into account.
(iii) Minimum two years of substantial future services. The employee must be required to perform substantial services in the future, or refrain from competing pursuant to an agreement that meets the requirements of paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of this section, for a minimum of two years after the date that the employee could have received the compensation in the absence of the additional or extended substantial risk of forfeiture. For example, if an employee elects to defer a fixed percentage from each semi-monthly payroll, the two year minimum applies to each semi-monthly payroll amount that would otherwise have been paid. Notwithstanding the two year minimum, a plan may provide that that the substantial future service condition will lapse upon death, disability, or involuntary severance from employment without cause.
(iv) Timing. The parties must agree in writing to any addition or extension of a substantial risk of forfeiture under this paragraph (e)(2). In the case of an initial addition of a substantial risk of forfeiture if none previously existed (for example, in the case of a deferral of current compensation), this written agreement must be entered into before the beginning of the calendar year in which any services that give rise to the compensation are performed, and, in the case of an extension of a substantial risk of forfeiture, the written agreement must be entered into at least 90 days before an existing substantial risk of forfeiture would have lapsed. If an employee with respect to whom compensation is made subject to an initial or extended substantial risk of forfeiture was not providing services to the employer at least 90 days before the addition or extension, the addition or extension may be agreed to in writing within 30 days after commencement of employment but only with respect to amounts attributable to services rendered after the addition or extension is agreed to in writing.
(v) Substitutions. For purposes of paragraph (e)(2) of this section, if an amount is forfeited or relinquished and replaced, in whole or part, with a right to another amount (or benefit) that is a substitute for the amount that was forfeited or relinquished and that is subject to a risk of forfeiture, the risk of forfeiture will be disregarded unless the requirements of paragraphs (e)(2)(ii) through (iv) of this section are satisfied.
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