Richard J. Montgomery and Adele S. Montgomery - Page 9

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          disqualify the plan.  Thus, respondent contends that the                    
          Retirement System is a qualified employer plan because respondent           
          issued a determination letter to that effect on June 23, 1982.              
          We agree with respondent.                                                   
               Section 4980A(e)(2) defines a qualified employer plan to               
          include any plan which, at any time, has been determined by the             
          Commissioner to be such a plan.  The regulations promulgated                
          under section 4980A further provide: "Distributions under any               
          plan * * * that has at any time been treated as a qualified                 
          employer plan * * * will be treated for purposes of section * * *           
          [4980A] as distributions from a qualified employer plan * * *               
          whether or not such plan * * * satisfies the applicable                     
          requirements at the time of the distribution."  Sec. 54.4981A-              
          1T(a-3)(c)(2), Temporary Qualified Pension Plan Excise Tax Regs.            
          [Emphasis added.]                                                           
               Petitioners' contention that the Retirement System is                  
          required to have been a qualified plan on the date of                       
          petitioner's distribution is inconsistent with the plain meaning            
          of the words used in section 4980A(e)(2).  That section merely              
          requires that a plan be determined to be a qualified employer               
          plan at some point in time and not necessarily on the date of the           
          retirement distribution.6  In the instant case, respondent issued           

          6 A possible explanation for this definition of a qualified                 
          employer plan is that such a definition prevents an employer                
          maintaining a small employer plan from intentionally                        
          disqualifying the plan (by violating one of the technical sec.              

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