COVID-19 Update: New Retirement Plan Guidance on Electronic Notarization

June 18, 2020

COVID-19 has made traditional notarization, where the notary is in the same physical location as the signatory, a potentially hazardous and often undesirable requirement. Many states have reacted to this by permitting remote notarization, either permanently or on a temporary basis. However, generally speaking, retirement plan administrators have been unable to take advantage of this liberalization because the Internal Revenue Code Regulations require many participant elections (including a spousal consent) to be witnessed in the physical presence of a plan representative or a notary public. Recent guidance has temporarily suspended the physical presence requirement when certain criteria are satisfied.

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