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Dear Charter School Leader:

In response to your dozens of calls and emails, I am writing with good news about a much-publicized issue regarding charter school teachers’ state retirement eligibility.

We spoke directly with Pamela Kinard, the lead IRS employee collecting and responding to the comments that are coming in. The IRS has spent the last 6 years preparing for the ADVANCED Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on “Determination of Governmental Plan Status.”

Nothing in the regulations is directly aimed at charter schools. There is nothing that is becoming final this summer. In fact, because this is an ADVANCED NPRM, these are not even Proposed Regulations yet. They are an early draft of what is likely — in 1-2 years time — to be proposed by the IRS as proposed regulations in a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for additional further comment, hearings, and eventual publication in a final rule. It may be 2-3 or more years from now before a final set of regulations on this topic is finalized.

In the meantime, there will be multiple comment periods — like the one closing in now on June 18 — and multiple public hearings. The IRS has already loudly heard the concerns that there may be a charter school issue in these proposed regulations and reports that it was completely unanticipated. It is NOT true that charter schools will be automatically denied participation in state retirement plans in June and that it will be retroactive.

It is important to know that there is a current 5-factor test to determine whether an entity is eligible for being part of a government retirement plan. This ANPRM proposes for discussion — not for adoption — some changes to that five-factor test, modernizing it. It is YEARS away from final adoption. It is a tough test currently

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