Cycle 3 Restatement FAQ

Post Pension Protection Act (Cycle 3) Restatement FAQ

I have a plan document. Why do I have to “restate” it?

The document you now have was approved by the IRS in 2014, on the last 6-year cycle. In August 2020, the IRS approved an updated document to comply with new regulations put in place since the one that was reviewed and approved in 2014. It is a legal requirement that your plan adopt the current approved document version for your 401(k) plan.

Does the Post-PPA (Cycle 3) Restatement requirement apply to my 401(k) retirement plan?

Yes, it does. The Cycle 3 Restatement is required by the IRS for all Defined Contribution plans (401k, Profit Sharing, etc).

We amended our retirement plan documents last year, does this requirement still apply to us?

Yes, it does. The Cycle 3 Restatement was not available when your plan was amended last year as the IRS released the Cycle 3 Restatement to all 401(k) Plans during October of 2020. This would also be a good opportunity to discuss any changes to your plan recommended by LRS and any other changes your group would like to see.

When is the Post-PPA restatement deadline?

The Post-PPA (Cycle 3) restatement period runs from August 1, 2020 through July 31, 2022.

If I am the only employee of my company and there are no other participants in my plan, is the restatement still required?

Yes, it is. This is an IRS regulatory requirement to restate your plan documents, to keep them in compliance with IRS regulations.

Our plan is only a year old, is this mandatory at this time, or can we wait?

Even if your plan is only a year old the Post-PPA restatement is required at this time. This requirement is not subject to plan start date, contributions to the plan, or participants. The IRS, on average, opens a restatement period every 5-6 years. It is at the discretion of the IRS as to when they choose to begin the restatement period. We are notified by the IRS of the new restatement period and we, in turn, reach out to our clients. The window is open until July 31, 2022.
All retirement plans were required to comply with the Cycle 3 in operation according to the effective date of each provision beginning August 1, 2020. Employers must now restate their written plan documents to conform to the way the plan has been operated, by incorporating the changes made by the Cycle 3 regulations.

What if restating our plan document is not financially feasible?

We understand your financial limitations. Please note the IRS mandatory restatement window is open until July 31, 2022. If we start this process before then we will have enough time to get your Restatement processed.
We will be offering a discounted rate of $1,000 through December 31, 2021!

Is this voluntary or required? Do I have the choice? What happens if I do not do it?

The Cycle 3 restatement is a mandatory requirement by the IRS. There is no choice as to whether to do it or not. The Cycle 3 restatement period runs from August 1, 2020 through July 31, 2022.
The restatement process results in not only a plan document with the IRS seal of approval, but also provides some opportunities to fix errors before they become more serious or are discovered during an IRS or DOL audit. If you chose not to comply, your Plan would be out of compliance with the IRS and will lead to penalties being assessed by the IRS. We can expect additional audit activity after 2022 and plans without IRS Pre-Approval are likely to be primary targets.

How is this different from the annual fee?

The IRS requires the restatement of your current Pre-Approved Document on a fixed six-year cycle so that plan documents are current with cumulative legislative changes enacted by Congress. The cost associate with restating your current Plan Document, $1,200 which we will discount until 12/31/21, is not included in your signed engagement with LRS, which includes ongoing administration or recordkeeping fees.

Do the Post PPA documents include SECURE and CARES Act language?

No. Since both Acts were signed into law after the submission deadline for the Post-PPA (Cycle 3) Defined Contribution documents for IRS approval, the documents do not include CARES or SECURE Act language. Instead, required language for both Acts will be included in upcoming document amendments, which we will notify you of at that time when applicable.

What about plans terminating before the close of the restatement period?

If a plan is up-to-date with all document requirements as of the plan's termination date (including CARES and SECURE Act amendments) and the plan will be terminated prior to the restatement deadline, there is no restatement requirement. However, plan sponsors may elect to restate terminating plans to ensure that the document is fully compliant prior to termination. For your convenience, our Termination Kit Non-MP has been updated to include SECURE and CARES Act language.

For more information about the Cycle 3 Restatement visit:


Leading Retirement Solutions

(206) 430-5084 phone
  (800) 974-2814 (toll free)


Our mission: to proactively support organizations and lead them toward a secure future.