Two Classes of Annuity Providers Do Not Violate § 403(b) Universal Availability Requirement

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In Private Letter Ruling 201142033 (July 25, 2011), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruled that the IRC § 403(b) universal availability requirement was not violated merely because (i) a university system made available two classes of annuity providers and (ii) some employees could access both classes of providers, and other employees could access only one class.

-- The university system adopted a consolidated § 403(b) program for all its campuses and selected annuity providers that were available to all employees.

-- Previously, each campus in the system administered a separate § 403(b) program with differing annuity providers. An employee with an existing contract with one of these providers was allowed either to continue making salary reduction contributions to that contract (so long as that provider executed the requisite information sharing agreement under the § 403(b) regulations) or to select a new provider under the consolidated program.

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