Compensation Projects Added to Treasury’s Priority Guidance Plan

The 2nd quarter update to the 2017-2018 Treasury Priority Guidance Plan includes projects stemming from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s compensation-related changes. The updated plan also includes several retirement policy projects that Treasury says it hopes to complete by June 30, 2018.

Overall, the guidance plan contains 198 projects (30 of which had been completed before its publication) addressing every major section of the Internal Revenue Code. Most of these projects do not involve the issuance of new regulations, but instead provide guidance through other means, such as:

  • revocations of final, temporary proposed regulations;
  • notices, revenue rulings and revenue procedures; and
  • amendments to existing regulations that bring about simplification and reduced burdens.

The 2nd quarter update incorporates 29 additional projects, including 18 that have become near-term priorities as a result of the TCJA, as well as guidance published from Oct. 13, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2017. It doesn’t appear, however, that any major new projects were added to the Retirement Benefit section of the guidance plan, compared to the October 2017 update.

The compensation-based priority projects under the TCJA and the retirement-related projects that Treasury and IRS plan to undertake by June 30 include the following.

Initial Implementation of TCJA

  • Application of the effective date provisions to the elimination of the exceptions for commissions and performance-based compensation from the definition of compensation subject to the deduction limit under Code Section 162(m)
  • Certain issues relating to the excise tax on excess remuneration paid by “applicable tax-exempt organizations” under Code Section 4960


  • Use of lump-sum payments to replace lifetime income being received by retirees under DB plans under Code Section 401(a)(9)
  • Updating regulations for service credit and vesting under Code Section 411
  • Treatment of future interest credits and annuity conversion factor under a hybrid DB plan and adjustments under a variable annuity plan for purposes of satisfying certain qualification requirements
  • Church plans
  • Aggregation rules under Section 414(m)
  • Issues relating to lifetime income from retirement plans and IRAs
  • Missing participants


  • Updating the rules applicable to ESOPs
  • IRAs under Sections 219, 408, 408A and 4973
  • Restrictions and valuation of distributions under Section 411(a)(11)
  • Definition of a governmental plan under Section 414(d)
  • Reporting requirements under Section 6057

Final Regulations

  • Application of normal retirement age regulations under Section 401(a) to governmental plans
  • Qualified nonelective contributions and qualified matching contributions
  • Treatment of treaty fishing rights income under Section 415
  • Updating the minimum present value requirements for DB plans

Click here to view the updated plan.

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