On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed into law a comprehensive tax reform bill, H.R. 1, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This law brings with it the most comprehensive changes to the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) since 1986, impacting businesses and individuals, including compensation and benefit practices for a variety of employers. But what is notable for qualified plans is the provisions and relief that did not make the final cut, because what did remain has far less reaching impact for plan sponsors and third-party administrators. This lack of changes comes to a relief to many, particularly in light of the fact that the majority of the law became effective as of January 1, 2018.
Without any lead time, the fewer the changes help retain the tax-favored status of these plans. But that said, Congress is not done with pension reform, and a number of bills are coming on the scene that may well pick up steam, particularly without the legislative limitations that are placed when a bill, like H.R. 1, comes through the budget reconciliation process.