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IRS Finalizes New Mortality Table Rules for Pension Plans

October 10, 2017

Last week, the IRS and Treasury issued final regulations and other guidance on the mortality tables that apply to defined benefit plans for the purpose of minimum funding, lump-sum and other accelerated distribution options, and related calculations.  82 Fed. Reg. 46388 (Oct. 5, 2017), Notice 2017-60, Rev. Proc. 2017-55.  This guidance brings to a close the contentious process to update the pension plan mortality tables for 2018, which involved a significant amount of back-and-forth between Treasury and the actuarial and plan sponsor community.  The update in the tables was dictated by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which requires Treasury to update these tables at least every ten years to reflect pension plan experience and projected trends in experience.  The last update was effective for 2008.  As was expected, the new mortality table generally reflects lower mortality rates than the existing table, which will generally increase the present value of plan liabilities and the minimum funding requirements for many plans.  Please see the attached memo for details.