The agency explains that MPP and target benefit plans
are subject to the minimum funding standards of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 412.
Compared to defined benefit plans and defined contribution pensions (i.e., money purchase and target benefit plans
), profit sharing plans offer the flexibility of not having to make annual contributions, but age-weighted profit sharing plans offer the additional advantage of providing significantly larger allocations to older employees.
The regulations provide a safe harbor testing method for target benefit plans
. Because target benefit plans
are defined contribution plans that determine allocations based on a defined benefit funding approach, the safe harbor is included in the rules for cross testing.
Target benefit plans
are much like money purchase plans, but the employer contribution percentage can be based on age at plan entry--higher for older entrants.
Note: Since target benefit plans
are defined contribution plans they are subject to the limit on annual additions to a participant's account.
Money purchase and target benefit plans
are then discussed, followed by profit sharing, stock bonuses, employee stock option plans (ESOP), and 401(k) plans.
Submitter Approved] Defined and Target Benefit Plans
Target benefit plans
(see Q 384), where the actual pension is based on the amount in the participant's account, are to be treated as defined contribution plans.
Qualified retirement plans, both defined contribution plans (pension plans such as money purchase and target benefit plans
, and profit sharing plans such as 401(k) plans and savings/thrift plans) and defined benefit plans (traditional defined benefit plans, cash balance plans, and 412(i) plans).
With the profit-sharing "budget" under IRC section 404 rising from 15% to 25% of eligible payroll, the old money purchase and target benefit plans
are no longer necessary.
The Act eliminates the ability of defined contribution plans (other than certain target benefit plans
) to satisfy the non-discrimination requirements by cross-testing on a benefits basis.
Under a target benefit plan
, there are fixed contribution rates and targeted future pension benefits; however, the targeted amount is not guaranteed (Steele, 2016).