What's New for Practitioners
RFI on multiemployer plan mergers and partitions: PBGC published a Request for Information, "Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014; Partitions of Eligible Multiemployer Plans and Facilitated Mergers," in the Federal Register. The request seeks input from the public and multiemployer plan stakeholders on the process for implementation of these tools under the new law. In addition, the Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of Labor (DOL) and PBGC, has also issued a Request for Information to help inform how the guidelines and procedures required by Congress for preparing and submitting applications are developed. Comments can be submitted online here. (2/25/15)
Standard and distress terminations and missing participants forms and instructions: OMB has approved revisions to the standard and distress termination forms and instructions. The new forms and instructions can be found on the Plan Terminations page of PBGC's website. Under the revisions, a plan administrator of a plan terminating in a standard termination (or a distress termination that closes out in the private sector) must submit with the post-distribution certification the most recent plan document and proof of benefit distributions for lump sums paid and annuities purchased. Plan administrators must provide this information with any post-distribution certification filed on or after March 1, 2015. Filers may contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. (1/29/15)
Section 4062(e) Developments: PBGC has announced the end of the six-month moratorium on the enforcement of ERISA Section 4062(e). Major revisions to the law were enacted late last year as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015. PBGC described some of those changes in "Important Changes to ERISA Section 4062(e)." (01/22/15)
Premium Rates for Multiemployer Plans: The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 increased the 2015 flat-rate premium for multiemployer plans (from $13 to $26 per participant). The "Premium Rates" webpage has been updated to reflect this increase. (01/14/15)
2015 premiums. On January 12, 2015, PBGC submitted to OMB for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act draft forms and instructions for 2015 premium filings. Included in the OMB submission is a supporting statement addressing, among other things, public comments received on new questions related to certain lump sum windows and annuity purchases. Comments are due to OMB by February 11, 2015. Information on how to comment is included in the related Federal Register notice. (01/13/15)
Rollovers final rule. On November 25, 2014, PBGC published a final rule that amends PBGC's valuation and benefit payments regulations to clarify the treatment of benefits resulting from a rollover distribution from a defined contribution plan to a defined benefit plan, where the defined benefit plan is terminated and trusteed by PBGC. Under the final rule, a benefit resulting from rollover amounts generally will be in the second highest priority of the asset allocation among various classes of benefits and generally will not be subject to PBGC's maximum guarantee or phase-in limitations. (11/25/14)
Benefit Restrictions - Present Value of PBGC Maximum Guarantee: On October 28, 2014, PBGC posted a table showing the applicable present values for 2015 plan years. For more information see Technical Update 07-04. (10/30/14)
Maximum Guarantee: On October 27th, 2014, PBGC announced that the annual maximum guaranteed benefit for a 65-year-old retiree in a single-employer plan increases to $60,136 for 2015, up from $59,318 for 2014. A table showing amounts for other ages is available on the PBGC's website. (10/28/14)
2015 Premium Rates: The "Premium Rates" webpage has been updated to show premium rates for 2015. (10/24/2014)
Technical Update on effect of HATFA on 4010 filing. On October 17, 2014, PBGC issued Technical Update 14-2, which provides guidance on the effect of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA) on annual financial and actuarial information reporting under section 4010 of ERISA and part 4010 of PBGC's regulations. (10/17/14)
Premium Payments to PBGC: To help ensure that premium payments are quickly and accurately posted to plan accounts, we have the following requests: (10/08/14)
- If you prefer to pay at the same time that you submit your e-filing via My PAA, you can securely enter your payment information (e.g., your account number and bank routing code) when you are offered the payment screen. This will enable PBGC to pull the payment from your designated account.
- If you prefer to pay separately from your filing, you can securely submit your payment electronically via www.Pay.gov without incurring any additional cost. When you go to the Pay.gov website, you should proceed to the PBGC Premium Insurance Payments form to enter your payment information (e.g., the plan's Employer Identification and Plan Number (EIN/PN), your account number and bank routing code). This will enable the U.S. Treasury Department to pull the payment from your designated account.
- If you prefer to pay by other methods (e.g., check), be sure to enter the plan's EIN/PN and Plan Year Commencement Date (PYC) on the payment. If this is not present on the payment, we will be unable to determine who made the payment and will send a bill for unpaid premium.
- If you have any questions, please contact our premium representatives at email@example.com or 1-800-736-2444 and select the "premium" option.
Technical Update on effect of HATFA on premium filings. On September 24, 2014, PBGC issued Technical Update 14-1, which provides guidance on the effect of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA) on PBGC premiums. (09/24/14)
PBGC.gov has new navigation features. As pension plan practitioners, you’re important customers to PBGC, and we want to ensure you have the best experience while using PBGC.gov. We’d like to highlight some recent improvements to our site that we hope will help you find what you’re looking for.
- First, we now have drop-down menus on the top navigation bars on every page on PBGC.gov, which are becoming an industry best practice on sites like WhiteHouse.gov and others. On the PBGC.gov home page, you’ll see arrows next to Workers & Retirees, Practitioners, and About PBGC. Hover over those arrows to find additional links to the most popular pages for those areas.
- Second, we developed a fully automated A-Z index and are promoting it on every page on our site. The index includes all of our web pages, including the individual “home pages” for each of our trusteed plans. Users who know the name of their plan can now either search or use our A-Z index to get where they need to be.
- Third, we removed the “Resources” section of our website, and distributed the information into the more relevant Practitioners and About PBGC categories.
Our blog, Retirement Matters, continues to be one of the best ways to stay up to date with PBGC and our work to ensure retirement security. To be notified when we post new entries, you can subscribe to the blog, Retirement Matters. We welcome your feedback on these changes. Please direct your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the volume of emails, we regret that we may not be able to respond to each individually. (08/04/14)
Multiemployer Plans; Valuation and Notice Requirements Final Rule. On May 28, 2014, PBGC published a final rule amending PBGC's multiemployer regulations. The changes were developed as a result of PBGC's regulatory review. The amendments reduce the number of actuarial valuations required for certain small terminated but not insolvent plans, shorten the advance notice filing requirements for mergers in situations that do not involve a compliance determination, and remove certain insolvency notice and update requirements. (05/28/14)
Shutdown benefits final rule. On May 6, 2014, PBGC published a final rule amending its benefit payment regulation to implement the Pension Protection Act of 2006 provision that the phase-in period for PBGC's guarantee of benefits contingent upon the occurrence of an "unpredictable contingent event," such as a plant shutdown, starts no earlier than the date of the event. Under the statute, the change applies to benefits that become payable as a result of an event that occurs after July 26, 2005. The regulation includes examples that show how the phase-in rules apply to PBGC benefits in various situations. (05/06/14)
Standard and distress terminations and missing participants forms and instructions. OMB has approved revisions to the standard termination, distress termination, and missing participants forms and instructions. The new forms and instructions can be found on the Plan Terminations page of PBGC's website. The new forms must be used for terminations for which the first Notice of Intent to Terminate is issued on or after June 1, 2014. If the first Notice of Intent to Terminate is issued before June 1, 2014, either the new or old forms may be used. (04/24/14)
My PAA ready for 2014 Premium Filings. My PAA has been updated to reflect recent changes to the premium regulation (first effective for 2014 plan years) as described in the 2014 premium filing instructions. Comprehensive filings for plan years beginning in 2014 may now be electronically submitted via My PAA. Information about how to e-file via My PAA (e.g., Demos and FAQs) is on the Online Premium Filing with My PAA page of our website. A reminder that the new rules have no impact on premium filings for plan years beginning in 2013 (e.g., small calendar plans whose 2013 premium filing is due April 30th, 2014). (04/17/2014)
2014 premium filings. OMB has approved the 2014 premium filing instructions consistent with PBGC's recent final rule making its premium regulations more effective and less burdensome. The web pages showing premium due dates and interest rates used to determine the variable-rate premium have been updated to reflect the new regulations. My PAA is being modified to reflect the changes and will be ready to accept 2014 filings shortly. PBGC will post a "What's New" item when My PAA is ready for 2014 filings. (04/15/2014)
Rollovers proposed rule. On April 2, 2014, PBGC published a proposed rule that would amend PBGC's valuation and benefit payments regulations to clarify the treatment of benefits resulting from a rollover distribution from a defined contribution plan to a defined benefit plan, where the defined benefit plan is terminated and trusteed by PBGC. Under the proposed rule, a benefit resulting from rollover amounts generally would be in the second highest priority of the asset allocation among various classes of benefits and would not be subject to PBGC's maximum guarantee or phase-in limitations. Comments on the proposed rule are due June 2, 2014. (04/02/2014)
Premium final rule. On March 11, 2014, PBGC published a final rule addressing the rest of its July 2013 proposal to make its premium rules more effective and less burdensome, starting 2014. (PBGC addressed one part of the proposal in January 2014 by eliminating the early due date for large plans' flat-rate premiums.) This final rule changes the due date for small plans, generally requires small plans to base the variable-rate premium on prior year data, coordinates the due date for terminating plans with the termination process, and expands premium penalty relief. PBGC has submitted the 2014 premium payment instructions (including illustrative forms) to OMB. PBGC will make My PAA available for 2014 filings after OMB approves the instructions. PBGC expects My PAA will be available for 2014 filings well before the first filing deadline for 2014 (October 15, 2014). Until then, PBGC is not accepting 2014 filings. (03/11/2014)
Multiemployer Plans; Notice and Valuation Requirements Proposed Rule. On January 29, 2014, PBGC published a proposed rule that would implement changes to PBGC's multiemployer regulations. The changes were developed as a result of PBGC's regulatory review. The proposal would reduce the number of actuarial valuations required for certain small terminated but not insolvent plans, shorten the advance notice filing requirements for mergers in situations that do not involve a compliance determination, and remove certain insolvency notice and update requirements. Comments on the proposed rule are due March 31, 2014. (01/29/2014)
Premium final rule. On January 3, 2014, PBGC published a final rule moving the flat-rate premium due date for large single employer and multiemployer plans (500 or more participants) to the variable-rate premium due date for single-employer plans, starting with the 2014 plan year. Thus, large calendar-year plans' 2014 flat-rate premiums will be due October 15, 2014, instead of February 28, 2014. This rule finalizes part of a proposed rule that would simplify premium due dates, coordinate the premium due date for terminating plans with the termination process, make conforming and clarifying changes to the variable-rate premium rules, give small plans more time to value benefits, provide for relief from penalties, and make other changes. PBGC expects to publish a final rule addressing the rest of the proposed rule, post the 2014 premium payment instructions (including illustrative forms), and make My PAA available for 2014 filings well before the first filing deadline of October 15, 2014. Until then, PBGC is not accepting 2014 filings. (01/03/2014)
Benefit Restrictions – Present Value of PBGC Maximum Guarantee: On November 6, 2013, PBGC posted a table showing the applicable present values for 2014 plan years. For more information see Technical Update 07-04. (11/06/2013)
2014 Premium Rates: The "Premium Rates" webpage has been updated to show premium rates for 2014. (11/06/2013)
Maximum Guarantee: On November 6, 2013, PBGC updated the Maximum Guarantee Limit Table for 2014. The maximum guaranteeable age 65 single life annuity benefit for 2014 is $4,943.18 per month (as compared with $4,789.77 for 2013). (11/06/13)
Premium proposed rule draft forms and instructions. On July 23, 2013, PBGC submitted to OMB for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act the draft forms and instructions that would implement the new premium proposal. See the proposal for information on how to comment on the draft forms and instructions. (07/24/13)
Premium proposed rule. On July 23, 2013, PBGC published a new premium proposal that would make its premium rules more effective and less burdensome. Comments on the proposed rule are due September 23, 2013. For more information, see PBGC's press release. (07/23/13)
PBGC Seeks Information on Missing Participants in Individual Account Plans. On June 21, 2013, PBGC published a request for information seeking the public's help in making decisions about starting a new program to deal with benefits of missing participants in terminating individual account plans. PBGC wants feedback from the pension community on the demand for such a program or a database of missing participants, the availability of private-sector missing participant services, potential program costs and fees, electronic filing, and other issues. Comments are due by August 20th, 2013. (07/01/13)
Oklahoma Disaster Relief. PBGC is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the severe storms and tornadoes that began on May 18, 2013, in Oklahoma. (05/28/13)
Single-Employer DB Plan Freezes. At the 2013 Enrolled Actuaries Meeting held last month in Washington, DC, PBGC staff shared some interesting data relating the frequency and incidence of plan freezes based on information reported in premium filings. A copy of the slides shown at that meeting, titled "Single-Employer DB Plan Freezes" (PDF) is now available on the Other Reports section of our website. (5/07/13)
Withdrawn Opinion Letters. On April 19, 2013, PBGC withdrew opinion letters 77-172 and 85-19. For reference, the withdrawn opinion letters will be maintained on the Withdrawn Opinion Letters Archive. (04/19/13)
Reportable events proposed rule draft forms and instructions. On April 4, 2013, PBGC submitted its draft forms and instructions that would implement the new reportable events proposal to OMB for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act. See the proposal for information on how to comment on the draft forms and instructions. (04/05/13)
Reportable Events proposed rule. On April 3, 2013, PBGC published a new reportable events proposal. Comments on the proposed rule are due June 3, 2013. A hearing on the rule is scheduled for June 18. For more information, see PBGC's press release. (04/03/13)
Missing Participant Program Address Changes: The lockbox addresses for sending payment of designated benefits and/or other amounts due missing participants with a completed payment voucher have changed. You can find the new addresses for U.S. Postal Service and other mail delivery services, as well as for wire transfers, on page 5 of our Missing Participants Filing Instructions. The address for sending the Schedule MP (including any required attachments) along with the post-distribution certification has not changed. (03/18/13)
Update to e-4010 Instructions: On March 8, 2013, the e-4010 instructions were updated to reflect PBGC's guidance on the effect of MAP-21 on 4010 reporting. In addition, a few other minor modifications were made to the application. For more information on these changes or to request a red-lined version of the instructions, please email 4010.Erisa@pbgc.gov. (03/11/2013)
PBGC Information Collection Requests Under OMB Review: We have added a feature to Laws and Regulations that makes it easier for you to see which PBGC information collection requests are under OMB review. We have one information collection request under review at OMB right now — proposed nonmaterial changes to the 4010 filing requirements, primarily to reflect the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). We will update this new feature whenever OMB receives a PBGC information collection request for review. (02/22/2013)
Reportable Events; Guidance for Plan Years after 2012: On January 30, 2013, PBGC issued Technical Update 13-1, which extends for 2013 and later plan years the reportable events guidance provided in Technical Update 11-1. (01/30/13)
2013 Premium Filings: Both estimated flat-rate filings and comprehensive filings for plan years beginning in 2013 may be electronically submitted via My Plan Administration Account (My PAA). Information about how to e-file via My PAA (e.g., Demos and FAQs) is on the Online Premium Filing with My PAA page of our website. The 2013 premium payment instructions (including illustrative forms) are posted to the Premium Payment Instructions and Addresses page of our website. "What's New" for premium filings for plan years beginning in 2013 is described on page 2 of the instructions, e.g., the per-participant flat-rate premium is $42.00 for single-employer plans and $12.00 for multiemployer plans. (01/02/13)