U.S Code last checked for updates: Jun 25, 2024
§ 403.
Taxation of employee annuities
(a)
Taxability of beneficiary under a qualified annuity plan
(1)
Distributee taxable under section 72
(2)
Special rule for health and long-term care insurance
(3)
Self-employed individuals
(4)
Rollover amounts
(A)
General rule
If—
(i)
any portion of the balance to the credit of an employee in an employee annuity described in paragraph (1) is paid to him in an eligible rollover distribution (within the meaning of section 402(c)(4)),
(ii)
the employee transfers any portion of the property he receives in such distribution to an eligible retirement plan, and
(iii)
in the case of a distribution of property other than money, the amount so transferred consists of the property distributed,
then such distribution (to the extent so transferred) shall not be includible in gross income for the taxable year in which paid.
(B)
Certain rules made applicable
(5)
Direct trustee-to-trustee transfer
(b)
Taxability of beneficiary under annuity purchased by section 501(c)(3) organization or public school
(1)
General rule
If—
(A)
an annuity contract is purchased—
(i)
for an employee by an employer described in section 501(c)(3) which is exempt from tax under section 501(a),
(ii)
for an employee (other than an employee described in clause (i)), who performs services for an educational organization described in section 170(b)(1) (A)(ii), by an employer which is a State, a political subdivision of a State, or an agency or instrumentality of any one or more of the foregoing, or
(iii)
for the minister described in section 414(e)(5)(A) by the minister or by an employer,
(B)
such annuity contract is not subject to subsection (a),
(C)
the employee’s rights under the contract are nonforfeitable, except for failure to pay future premiums,
(D)
except in the case of a contract purchased by a church, such contract is purchased under a plan which meets the nondiscrimination requirements of paragraph (12), and
(E)
in the case of a contract purchased under a salary reduction agreement, the contract meets the requirements of section 401(a)(30),
then contributions and other additions by such employer for such annuity contract shall be excluded from the gross income of the employee for the taxable year to the extent that the aggregate of such contributions and additions (when expressed as an annual addition (within the meaning of section 415(c)(2))) does not exceed the applicable limit under section 415. The amount actually distributed to any distributee under such contract shall be taxable to the distributee (in the year in which so distributed) under section 72 (relating to annuities). For purposes of applying the rules of this subsection to contributions and other additions by an employer for a taxable year, amounts transferred to a contract described in this paragraph by reason of a rollover contribution described in paragraph (8) of this subsection or section 408(d)(3)(A)(ii) shall not be considered contributed by such employer.
(2)
Special rule for health and long-term care insurance
(3)
Includible compensation
For purposes of this subsection, the term “includible compensation” means, in the case of any employee, the amount of compensation which is received from the employer described in paragraph (1)(A), and which is includible in gross income (computed without regard to section 911) for the most recent period (ending not later than the close of the taxable year) which under paragraph (4) may be counted as one year of service, and which precedes the taxable year by no more than five years. Such term does not include any amount contributed by the employer for any annuity contract to which this subsection applies. Such term includes—
(A)
any elective deferral (as defined in section 402(g)(3)), and
(B)
any amount which is contributed or deferred by the employer at the election of the employee and which is not includible in the gross income of the employee by reason of section 125, 132(f)(4), or 457.
(4)
Years of service
In determining the number of years of service for purposes of this subsection, there shall be included—
(A)
one year for each full year during which the individual was a full-time employee of the organization purchasing the annuity for him, and
(B)
a fraction of a year (determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary) for each full year during which such individual was a part-time employee of such organization and for each part of a year during which such individual was a full-time or part-time employee of such organization.
In no case shall the number of years of service be less than one.
(5)
Application to more than one annuity contract
[(6)
Repealed. Pub. L. 107–147, title IV, § 411(p)(2), Mar. 9, 2002, 116 Stat. 50]
(7)
Custodial accounts
(A)
Amounts paid treated as contributions
For purposes of this title, amounts paid by an employer described in paragraph (1)(A) to a custodial account which satisfies the requirements of section 401(f)(2) shall be treated as amounts contributed by him for an annuity contract for his employee if the amounts are to be held in that custodial account and are invested in regulated investment company stock or a group trust intended to satisfy the requirements of Internal Revenue Service Revenue Ruling 81–100 (or any successor guidance), and under the custodial account—
(i)
no such amounts may be paid or made available to any distributee (unless such amount is a distribution to which section 72(t)(2)(G) applies) before—
(I)
the employee dies,
(II)
the employee attains age 59½,
(III)
the employee has a severance from employment,
(IV)
the employee becomes disabled (within the meaning of section 72(m)(7)),
(V)
subject to the provisions of paragraph (17), the employee encounters financial hardship, or
(VI)
except as may be otherwise provided by regulations, with respect to amounts invested in a lifetime income investment (as defined in section 401(a)(38)(B)(ii)), the date that is 90 days prior to the date that such lifetime income investment may no longer be held as an investment option under the contract, and
(ii)
in the case of amounts described in clause (i)(VI), such amounts will be distributed only in the form of a qualified distribution (as defined in section 401(a)(38)(B)(i)) or a qualified plan distribution annuity contract (as defined in section 401(a)(38)(B)(iv)).
(B)
Account treated as plan
(C)
Regulated investment company
(D)
Employee certification
In determining whether a distribution is upon the financial hardship of an employee, the administrator of the plan may rely on a written certification by the employee that the distribution is—
(i)
on account of a financial need of a type which is deemed in regulations prescribed by the Secretary to be an immediate and heavy financial need, and
(ii)
not in excess of the amount required to satisfy such financial need, and
(8)
Rollover amounts
(A)
General rule
If—
(i)
any portion of the balance to the credit of an employee in an annuity contract described in paragraph (1) is paid to him in an eligible rollover distribution (within the meaning of section 402(c)(4)),
(ii)
the employee transfers any portion of the property he receives in such distribution to an eligible retirement plan described in section 402(c)(8)(B), and
(iii)
in the case of a distribution of property other than money, the property so transferred consists of the property distributed,
then such distribution (to the extent so transferred) shall not be includible in gross income for the taxable year in which paid.
(B)
Certain rules made applicable
(9)
Retirement income accounts provided by churches, etc.
(A)
Amounts paid treated as contributions
For purposes of this title—
(i)
a retirement income account shall be treated as an annuity contract described in this subsection, and
(ii)
amounts paid by an employer described in paragraph (1)(A) to a retirement income account shall be treated as amounts contributed by the employer for an annuity contract for the employee on whose behalf such account is maintained.
(B)
Retirement income account
(10)
Distribution requirements
(11)
Requirement that distributions not begin before age 59½, severance from employment, death, or disability
This subsection shall not apply to any annuity contract unless under such contract distributions attributable to contributions made pursuant to a salary reduction agreement (within the meaning of section 402(g)(3)(C)) may be paid only—
(A)
when the employee attains age 59½, has a severance from employment, dies, or becomes disabled (within the meaning of section 72(m)(7)),
(B)
subject to the provisions of paragraph (17), in the case of hardship,
(C)
for distributions to which section 72(t)(2)(G) applies, or
(D)
except as may be otherwise provided by regulations, with respect to amounts invested in a lifetime income investment (as defined in section 401(a)(38)(B)(ii))—
(i)
on or after the date that is 90 days prior to the date that such lifetime income investment may no longer be held as an investment option under the contract, and
(ii)
in the form of a qualified distribution (as defined in section 401(a)(38)(B)(i)) or a qualified plan distribution annuity contract (as defined in section 401(a)(38)(B)(iv)).
In determining whether a distribution is upon hardship of an employee, the administrator of the plan may rely on a written certification by the employee that the distribution is on account of a financial need of a type which is deemed in regulations prescribed by the Secretary to be an immediate and heavy financial need and is not in excess of the amount required to satisfy such financial need, and that the employee has no alternative means reasonably available to satisfy such financial need. The Secretary may provide by regulations for exceptions to the rule of the preceding sentence in cases where the plan administrator has actual knowledge to the contrary of the employee’s certification, and for procedures for addressing cases of employee misrepresentation.
(12)
Nondiscrimination requirements
(A)
In general
For purposes of paragraph (1)(D), a plan meets the nondiscrimination requirements of this paragraph if—
(i)
with respect to contributions not made pursuant to a salary reduction agreement, such plan meets the requirements of paragraphs (4), (5), (17), and (26) of section 401(a), section 401(m), and section 410(b) in the same manner as if such plan were described in section 401(a), and
(ii)
all employees of the organization may elect to have the employer make contributions of more than $200 pursuant to a salary reduction agreement if any employee of the organization may elect to have the organization make contributions for such contracts pursuant to such agreement.
For purposes of clause (i), a contribution shall be treated as not made pursuant to a salary reduction agreement if under the agreement it is made pursuant to a 1-time irrevocable election made by the employee at the time of initial eligibility to participate in the agreement or is made pursuant to a similar arrangement involving a one-time irrevocable election specified in regulations. For purposes of clause (ii), there may be excluded any employee who is a participant in an eligible deferred compensation plan (within the meaning of section 457) or a qualified cash or deferred arrangement of the organization or another annuity contract described in this subsection. Any nonresident alien described in section 410(b)(3)(C) may also be excluded. Subject to the conditions applicable under section 410(b)(4), there may be excluded for purposes of this subparagraph employees who are students performing services described in section 3121(b)(10) and employees who normally work less than 20 hours per week. The fact that the employer offers matching contributions on account of qualified student loan payments as described in section 401(m)(13) shall not be taken into account in determining whether the arrangement satisfies the requirements of clause (ii) (and any regulation thereunder).1
1
 As to preceding sentence, see Effective Date of 2022 Amendment note below for section 110(e) of Pub. L. 117–328.
A plan shall not fail to satisfy clause (ii) solely by reason of offering a de minimis financial incentive (not derived from plan assets) to employees to elect to have the employer make contributions pursuant to a salary reduction agreement.
(B)
Church
(C)
State and local governmental plans
(13)
Trustee-to-trustee transfers to purchase permissive service credit
No amount shall be includible in gross income by reason of a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer to a defined benefit governmental plan (as defined in section 414(d)) if such transfer is—
(A)
for the purchase of permissive service credit (as defined in section 415(n)(3)(A)) under such plan, or
(B)
a repayment to which section 415 does not apply by reason of subsection (k)(3) thereof.
(14)
Death benefits under USERRA-qualified active military service
(15)
Multiple employer plans
(A)
In general
(B)
Treatment of employers failing to meet requirements of plan
(i)
In general
(ii)
Additional requirements in case of non-governmental plans
(16)
Safe harbor deferral-only plans for employers with no retirement plan
(A)
In general
(B)
Safe harbor deferral-only plan
For purposes of this paragraph, the term “safe harbor deferral-only plan” means any plan which meets—
(i)
the automatic deferral requirements of subparagraph (C),
(ii)
the contribution limitations of subparagraph (D), and
(iii)
the requirements of subparagraph (E) of section 401(k)(13).
(C)
Automatic deferral
(i)
In general
(ii)
Election out
The election treated as having been made under clause (i) shall cease to apply with respect to any eligible employee if such eligible employee makes an affirmative election—
(I)
to not have such contributions made, or
(II)
to make elective contributions at a level specified in such affirmative election.
(iii)
Qualified percentage
(D)
Contribution limitations
(i)
In general
The requirements of this subparagraph are met if, under the plan—
(I)
the only contributions which may be made are elective contributions of eligible employees, and
(II)
the aggregate amount of such elective contributions which may be made with respect to any employee for any calendar year shall not exceed $6,000.
(ii)
Cost-of-living adjustment
(iii)
Catch-up contributions for individuals age 50 or over
(E)
Eligible employer
For purposes of this paragraph—
(i)
In general
(ii)
Relief for acquisitions, etc.
(iii)
Qualified plan
(F)
Eligible employee
(17)
Special rules relating to hardship withdrawals
For purposes of paragraphs (7) and (11)—
(A)
Amounts which may be withdrawn
The following amounts may be distributed upon hardship of the employee:
(i)
Contributions made pursuant to a salary reduction agreement (within the meaning of section 3121(a)(5)(D)).
(ii)
Qualified nonelective contributions (as defined in section 401(m)(4)(C)).
(iii)
Qualified matching contributions described in section 401(k)(3)(D)(ii)(I).
(iv)
Earnings on any contributions described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii).
(B)
No requirement to take available loan
(c)
Taxability of beneficiary under nonqualified annuities or under annuities purchased by exempt organizations
(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 137; Pub. L. 85–866, title I, § 23(a)–(c), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1620–1622; Pub. L. 87–370, § 3(a), Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 801; Pub. L. 87–792, § 4(d), Oct. 10, 1962, 76 Stat. 825; Pub. L. 88–272, title II, § 232(e)(4)–(6), Feb. 26, 1964, 78 Stat. 111; Pub. L. 91–172, title III, § 321(b)(2), title V, § 515(a)(2), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 591, 644; Pub. L. 93–406, title II, §§ 1022(e), 2002(g)(6), 2004(c)(4), 2005(b)(2), Sept. 2, 1974, 88 Stat. 940, 969, 986, 991; Pub. L. 94–267, § 1(b), Apr. 15, 1976, 90 Stat. 366; Pub. L. 94–455, title XIV, § 1402(b)(1)(D), (2), title XV, § 1504(a), title XIX, §§ 1901(a)(58), (b)(8)(A), 1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1731, 1732, 1738, 1774, 1794, 1834; Pub. L. 95–458, § 4(b), Oct. 14, 1978, 92 Stat. 1259; Pub. L. 95–600, title I, §§ 154(a), 156(a), (b), 157(g)(2), Nov. 6, 1978,
cite as: 26 USC 403