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CARES Act Retirement Plan Funding Relief

“With all the recent rule changes, did Congress provide any funding relief for retirement plan sponsors?”   

ERISA consultants at the Retirement Learning Center (RLC) Resource Desk regularly receive calls from financial advisors on a broad array of technical topics related to IRAs, qualified retirement plans and other types of retirement savings and income plans, including nonqualified plans, stock options, and Social Security and Medicare.  We bring Case of the Week to you to highlight the most relevant topics affecting your business.

A recent call with a financial advisor from Kansas is representative of a common inquiry related to plan funding relief.

Highlights of the Discussion

  • There is some relief for certain defined benefit (DB) plans, and for money purchase pension plans, but not for other types of defined contribution plans. The limited relief is to help sponsors of single employer pension plans handle the “one-two punch” of decreased revenue flows and devalued plan investments.
  • Under the newly enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, sponsors of single employer pension plans may delay payment of their 2020 contributions until January 1, 2021. This would include quarterly payments due in 2020 as well. (See Section 3608 on p. 133 of the CARES Act.)
  • If a pension plan sponsor delays contributions for 2020, it must increase the amount of each required contribution by any interest accrued during the period between the original due date for the contribution and the payment date, at the effective rate of interest for the plan year which includes such payment date.


The CARES Act included several provisions that affect qualified retirement plans. One such provision gives pension plan sponsors some funding relief for 2020.

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