As the IRS prepares to roll out its preapproved 403(b) direct contribution plans for certain public employees, the retirement industry is chiming in, hoping to ensure the official guidelines are crystal-clear, specifically when determining severance status and managing non-vested employer contributions.

This week, the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries crafted a joint letter with the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association, suggesting clarification on these two issues.

For plan administrators, the devil is in the details of these upcoming plans. The final IRS 403(b) wording will direct the "when" and "how" these tax-deferred retirement options are implemented. And as government pensions continue to struggle, there's every reason to expect the IRS pre-approved 403(b) plans will gain market share, making details like these critical to administrators.

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