Federal Tax

Church and Governmental Plans (Portfolio 372)

  • This Portfolio discusses issues concerning pension and welfare plans of churches and state and local governments, including issues regarding §414(d) and (e), §403(b), and §457.


Bloomberg Tax Portfolio, Church and Governmental Plans, No. 372, discusses issues concerning pension and welfare plans of churches and state and local governments under §414(d) and (e) of the Internal Revenue Code and the parallel provisions of ERISA. Chapter I of this Portfolio provides an historical perspective of the regulation of these plans, and includes a description of some of the current issues in state law for governmental plans. Chapter II presents a detailed discussion of the definitions of “church plan” and “governmental plan” for purposes of the Code and ERISA. Chapter III sets out a detailed analysis of tax qualification rules that may apply to governmental and church plans under §401(a), §403(b) (including church retirement income account rules under §403(b)(9)), §457(b), and special rules for other types of deferred compensation.

Chapter IV describes special rules for governmental and church welfare benefit plans. Chapter V addresses the relationship between these plans and Social Security benefits. Chapter VI deals with the reporting and disclosure requirements applicable to these plans. Chapter VII discusses sex and age discrimination issues. The Worksheets of this Portfolio include former IRS Publication 778, which describes the rules applicable to §401(a) plans as in effect immediately prior to the enactment of ERISA, some of the legislative history to ERISA and the MEPPA, and charts summarizing the Code provisions applicable to §401(a) governmental and nonelecting church plans.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Definitions
III. Tax Qualification
IV. Church and Governmental Health Care Plans
V. Governmental Plans, Church Plans and Social Security
VI. Reporting and Disclosure Requirements
VII. Sex and Age Discrimination Issues

David Powell
Groom Law Group, Chartered
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