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The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and  investment management.


Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's most exceptional ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has six offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 27 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and three paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Seven of the attorneys are AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and six are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.  Seven of the firm's attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2016, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process.




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Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110


Washington, D.C.

Tel: (202) 969-2800


Fax: (202) 969-2568

 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Suite 810

Washington, D.C. 20006


Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

300 Montgomery Street

Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
100 South 4th Street, Suite 550
St. Louis, MO  63102 








The Wagner Law Group Announces Private Determination Letter Program



March 2, 2017




Dear Clients and Friends:



In 2016, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") announced the elimination of its decades-long determination letter program for ongoing tax-qualified retirement plans. Now, individually-designed plans may obtain an IRS determination letter only at inception or upon termination. Sponsors of ongoing individually-designed retirement plans will no longer have an official mechanism to obtain assurance that their plans continue to meet tax-qualification requirements as the complex law and regulations governing tax-qualified plans change.


The Wagner Law Group has developed its own Private Determination Letter Program ("PDLP") to fill the void left by the IRS's abandoning this vital program and to address plan sponsors' legitimate concerns that that their plan documents remain compliant with the law as it evolves. Our industry-leading program will help protect the tax-qualified status of all types of individually-designed retirement plans by providing a comprehensive review of the current document and any amendments by our experienced attorneys based on the plan's most recently issued favorable determination letter and subsequent IRS guidance. The PDLP culminates in the issuance of a detailed written opinion letter to the plan sponsor that its plan has been properly amended for applicable changes in the law and that any design changes made to the plan meet all requirements under the Internal Revenue Code.


The PDLP opinion letter will enable a plan sponsor to provide assurance of its plan's satisfaction of the tax-qualification requirements to third-party administrators, investment providers, plan auditors and participants rolling over distributions from and into the plan, and in connection with IPOs, mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions. Without a PDLP opinion that their plans are tax-qualified, plan sponsors are at risk of losing the benefits of a tax-qualified plan - employer deductions for plan contributions, tax exemption for the plan's trust, and tax deferral for plan participants - if an IRS auditor or Department of Labor investigator challenges the plan language. Moreover, in the face of increasing litigation by plan participants against plan sponsors, a comprehensive review of a plan's governing documents is considered a best practice to protect the plan sponsor against lawsuits.


The PDLP is recommended for all forms of individually-designed retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, defined benefit pension plans, money purchase pension plans, cash balance plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), and is available to all types of plan sponsors, including for-profit, tax-exempt and government entities.


Inquiries about the PDLP should be directed to Marcia Wagner or to your regular WLG contact. We would be happy to provide further details about our new program.




This Newsletter is protected by copyright. Material appearing herein may be reproduced with appropriate credit.


This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.